Though always cheerful, Glenna Joy Park was born “smoking” on an ominous day – tucked between the stock market crash and Halloween of 1929. There were only two doctors in Tooele at the time – one Mormon and one not – and fortunately, this bishop’s daughter had the latter, because when she failed to breath, he calmly asked for his pipe, took a puff, and blew smoke down her throat. She coughed and then gave up the habit.
Growing up, Glenna never fought with her sister, Marion, but she did whack her brother, Sam, with a hanger now and again. She made up for it by doing his homework, and when he graduated from high school, her parents gave her a present, too. Glenna was also the reluctant winner of a ward beauty contest (becoming the Gold & Green queen) that someone had entered her in. It hadn’t required her presence, but she was embarrassed to have to pick up the prize.
Glenna loved the church and served a Mormon mission in the New England states. After breaking a few hearts, she married James L. Barker, jr. to become Glenna Park Barker and the mother of three children – Jim, Sam, and Mary – for whom she wrote stories and songs. At some point, her family got her into horse racing. Though she’d never been an animal person (as she put it, “Marion had a cat, Sam had a dog, and I had books”), she could rattle off quarter horse bloodlines as well as any lay person. She also became a whiz at the financial management of the family business.
Glenna loved to learn, had a degree in both English and History, was fascinated by astronomy, and was a member of Author’s Club and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She also took every class at the Mormon Institute of Religion, from which she graduated, and regularly
attended BYU Education Week. She shared her love and knowledge of the gospel by writing papers, leading study groups, and serving as a gospel doctrine teacher. She was also a Relief Society president and a docent on Temple Square and at the Museum of Church History and Art.
Mostly a homemaker, Glenna worked a few years for her brother at Marie Calendar Pies and at the Boy Scout office. With her independent streak, she once left her husband to manage the family for a few weeks in order to travel to the Holy Land. Another time, she stayed the night in
Wendover to gamble.
She shared a love of antiques with her sister, Marion; enjoyed the Shakespeare festival in Cedar City; and played a mean hand of bridge. Before arthritis set in, she also played the piano.
Mostly, Glenna was a kind and loving person. She was The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein) and made many sacrifices for others to fulfil their dreams and be happy. She was always grateful to her good and loving family, especially her parents, Samuel Park and Mary Isabell Adamson Park.
Preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her son, Sam, Glenna is mourned by her siblings, her two living children, and her grandchildren – Tricia Torgensen, Heather Torgensen, Matthew Barker, Daniel Cascallar, and Sarah Cascallar – as well as by nephews, nieces, and