Glenn Opie graduated from Great Bend High School in the Class of 1944. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois in 1950, and his Law Degree from the University of Kansas in 1954. Following high school graduation, he served overseas in the United States Navy as a radio operator during World War II. Glenn has been a lifelong resident of Great Bend and continues to bring recognition to his school, community, and himself.
Glenn is perhaps best known for the work he and his wife, Sandra, did as volunteers training and managing the Argonne Rebels Drum and Bugle Corps. Nearly 1,700 boys and girls participated in this summer activity that spanned 22 years and brought tremendous crowds to Great Bend for Drum and Bugle Crops competitions. The corps won three national championship titles in the American Legion contests in the early 1970’s. Glenn was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Drum Corps International in 2003. Glenn and Sandra still hear regularly from former corps members all over the country.
Glenn served as the Drum Major for the Northwestern University Band in the Rose Bowl in 1949, and later as Drum Major for the University of Kansas Band, while working on his law degree at KU. While at Northwestern, he ran the mile and 2 mile on the varsity track team. He has served as a volunteer track coach for 14 years for the Kansas Junior Olympics and is an active long distance runner to this day.
Glenn is known far beyond the Great Bend community for his work in the legal profession. He is a member and Past President of the Barton County Bar Association, and worked with others to maintain the present system of electing judges. In the Kansas Bar Association, he served for 19 years on the KBA’s Public Information Committee, including 11 years as chairman. He earned the KBA President’s "Outstanding Service Award" in 1973-74.
In the Great Bend community, Glenn served on the City Council for 2 years and on the Board of Education of USD 428 for 12 years, including four years as president. He received the Great Bend Jaycees "Distinguished Service Award" for community service and the local Kiwanis Club’s "Make Great Bend Greater" award. The local Chamber of Commerce presented him with the "Community Award of Honor for Outstanding Service"; an honor not bestowed each year.
Glenn has been a member of the Great Bend Rotary Club for over 50 years and served as the club’s president at one time. He has been active in Boy Scouts of America, serving as Scout Master of Troop 110, an adult selectee for the Order of the Arrow, and was a member of the Honor Board of Review of the Kanza Council that examined and approved candidates for Eagle Scout designation. He is one of a small number of people honored for "Meritorious Service" by Barton County Community College. In addition, he served on the Chamber of Commerce’s Homework Help Committee, a group of adults that volunteer to tutor elementary students needing help. He served as Vice-Commander of Argonne Post 180 of the American Legion for three years. Glenn has been active in the former Barton County Chapter of the American Red Cross, serving as county fund drive chairman, board member and water safety instructor for 15 years, and chairman of the Water Safety Committee for 15 years.
Presently, Glenn is serving as fund campaign chairman for the Jack Kilby Memorial Plaza project on the west side of the Barton County Courthouse that will honor Great Bend’s most famous native who invented the integrated circuit. He is a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church where he has served on the Board of Trustees and Staff-Parish Committee as well as being a member of the Chancel Choir for 50 years.
Glenn Opie has been a lifelong resident of Great Bend and has touched the lives of thousands of people. He built a very successful law practice, raised a family, and stayed involved in numerous organizations, activities, and associations. His optimism, leadership, and dedication to our youth and his service to the community over the years have been second to none. Glenn is truly one of the "Greats" of Great Bend.