Veteran's life highlighted value of hard work
Like many of “The Greatest Generation,” Morley Glick rarely spoke with his family about his service as a radio operator on B-17G bombers with the 837th Bomb Squadron during World War II.
But his family learned that Glick was part of the 487th Heavy Bomb Group that flew 185 missions around the clock in 1944, targeting military, economic and industrial systems in Germany.
The bombing runs played a large role in Germany's defeat, and earned the then-teenage staff sergeant from Westmoreland County a Distinguished Unit Medal and an Army Air Force Crew Member Badge.
Morley B. Glick, 88, of Rostraver, died Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, after a brief illness.
“He was part of that generation that really didn't like to speak about or embellish on their accomplishments. He was really matter-of-fact about what he had accomplished — always recognizing that many of his colleagues made much greater sacrifices,” said Glick's son, Mark B. Glick of Honolulu.
Mr. Glick was born Aug. 14, 1925, in Arnold City, son of Nellie (Harris) and Sam Glick.
When his parents divorced, leaving his mother with three sons and a daughter, he pitched in to support himself through secondary school by driving a truck for Hillman Coal and Coke Co.
He graduated from Marion High School in May 1943.
Mr. Glick enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943 at 17 and by 1945 had achieved the rank of staff sergeant. His service is included in Regis Serinko's book, “Freedom's Heroes,” chronicling Rostraver natives' service in the military.
“When I sent him the book, he remembered doing the interview and was blown away by the details. I remember him telling us he was so well-liked and such a hard worker, they let him fly despite being only 17 or 18 years old at the time,” Mark Glick said.
“He also spoke about when they finally flew back to the U.S. being devastated that one of the other planes in the bomb squadron, after flying all those missions in Europe, disappeared in a bad storm in the Atlantic,” Glick said.
On his return from serving in World War II, he attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, majoring in voice and minoring in piano.
“I still have some of the 78s records he made. He had a wonderful voice but never sang professionally,” Mark Glick said.
On July 11, 1949, Morley Glick married Leona Moskwa in Winchester, Va., a marriage that would last for one month short of 64 years. His wife passed away on June 12.
Mr. Glick was a charter member of the Lion's Club of Rostraver in 1953 and served one term as its president. He became a partner with Pete Bruno in the Bruno Plumbing business.
Later, he sold insurance for New York Life and eventually climbed the ranks, starting an insurance agency.
“He was very talented, and just like my mother, he was fearless by whatever challenge faced him in life. He lived with a combination of honor and dignity, carrying a hard-core firmness,” Mark Glick said.
“And as you can tell by his life, he had a really strong work ethic.”
For the decade before his retirement, he served in various managerial roles in the state liquor store system.
Mr. Glick is survived by his two sons, Leonard M. Glick and wife Cathy of Groves, Texas; and Mark B. Glick and wife Hitomi of Honolulu; and a daughter, Natalie A. Huey of Madison. Natalie's husband, Alan, passed away in 2006.
Arrangements are being handled by Robert A. Billick Funeral Home Inc., Monessen.
No funeral services will be held at the request of the family. A private burial service will take place in Belle Vernon Cemetery.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.