It is with sadness in our hearts that we must inform our readers of yet another one of history’s great Canadian aviators passing away last Friday, September 23rd, and exchanging this earthly existence for that place where they really belong: the sky.
Glenn Norman posted the article below on Facebook and we’ll have it on some other places on the Internet too.
Our thoughts are with his dear wife Kate Beckett, his children and family and his many friends all over the world.
Michelle and I first met Glenn Mathews and his wife, Kate “Not-the-one-on-Castle” Beckett, when they sent us a lovely E-mail saying how much they’d enjoyed watching a clip from our DVD “Flying the Finch” on YouTube.
We discovered Glenn was a WW2 Air Crew Veteran, one thing led to another, and before you knew it, the couple made the trip all the way from Victoria B.C., to Guelph Air Park, Ontario, where – thanks to “The Tiger Boys,” and Pilot Bruce “Rotten” Paylor – Glenn managed to get up for one more flight in his beloved Fleet Biplane.
During the inevitable “hangar-flying” that took place after the flight, we began to hear more and more of Glenn’s extraordinary stories. And the more we listened, the more incredible this man’s life became to us.
We managed to convince Glenn to write up his aviation tales, then he allowed us to post them on our aviation web site www.whyfly.aero. So, throughout June, 2010, we, and our WhyFly visitors, got to hear the life story of this amazing man and his incredible adventures.
Because of the last interview we did with Glenn, we came to think of him as Why Fly’s “Godfather.”
We stayed in touch and even managed to convince Kate to contribute some of her own wonderful images to WhyFly.
We had hoped the couple might manage another trip “Back East,” but I’ve just learned … that possibility no longer exists.
At 1 a.m. on Friday, Glenn passed away, with his beloved Kate sleeping peacefully by his side.
We’ve known for some time that this moment was coming, and yet now it has happened … Michelle and I find ourselves heart-broken.
Not just for the loss of this wonderful man, but for the gaping hole he has left in the life of “His Kate” – and all the rest of us who had the honour of knowing him.
Glenn was one of the ever-decreasing members of “The Greatest Generation,” that Band of Brothers (and Sisters) who took to the air and offered up their lives in the cause of Democracy.
It is because of Glenn and his fellow Veterans that I am here today.
As I was born in post-war England, I owe them my life – literally … and it is a debt I remember – and try to repay – each and every day.
So – most sincerely – Rest In Peace, dear Glenn. And know you will not be forgotten.
As for Kate … may you gain some solace from knowing that the love you and Glenn shared will be with you all the days of your life.
It will never change. It will never weaken. He will always be there whenever you need him.
For – truly – Love Never Dies.
And now, may I present to you the story of Glenn Mathews’ life – written in his own hand (with a couple of extra-special videos added on for good measure).
We will miss you dear friend.
It was an honour to have known you.
With love, and deep undying respect,
Glenn Norman & Michelle Goodeve
The Life & Times of Glenn Mathews: