After a battle with Alzheimer’s, Glenn Holbrook Matthews of Wilmot, New Hampshire and Bluffton, South Carolina died peacefully on July 17, 2013 surrounded by his loved ones. He was 76 years old.
Born on June 28, l937 to Thomas Holbrook and Roberta (Leonard) Matthews, Glenn leaves his wife of 54 years, Gail Thunberg, two beloved sons Scott and Brett Matthews, assorted animals, six grandadorables (Skyler, Sumner, Chanel, Parker, Cole, and Grace), a sister Cameron Carroll, nine nieces and nephews, fourteen grand nieces, nephews, daughters-in-laws Tamara Nikuradse and Ginger Salazar, brother-in-laws Bruce Thunberg, Jim Carnathan, Brian Carroll, sisters-in-laws Lynne Carnathan and Melanie Thunberg, longtime friend Henry Stevens, and many friends coast to coast.
Before Glenn could no longer write, he said: “Alzheimer’s is a loss of self. It is a dreadful disease.” He fought with grace, strength, dignity and with a willingness to teach about the disease. Though he could no longer do the things he loved to do such as travel, read, write, invest, work on his computer, garden, ride his bike, sail on Pleasant Lake, climb Mt. Kearsarge, cross country ski, build a fireplace fire, build house models, work out at a gym, go to Symphony in Boston (he was a devotee to Boston and classical music), see his grandadorables at play and sports, dance, he maintained his charm and desire to keep at it. This was done with the help of Lake Sunapee Visiting Nurses Respite, and nurses in the home he helped to design in Wilmot. A book has been written on his journey and how he fought the disease daily titled “Did I Die? Managing the Mayhem of Alzheimer’s A Caregiver’s Guide to Peace and Quality of Life.”
After graduating from Braintree High School in 1955, Glenn attended Bowdoin College where he graduated in l959 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He was a member of the Bowdoin ROTC and therefore upon graduation entered the US Army serving in Fort Lee, Virginia followed by the Army Reserve. Prentice Hall Publishing used him as an experiment as the first hired directly out of college and he joined a sales force nationally of 162 men. His territory was Connecticut and the first year, he was named Top Salesman. From there, he was promoted as Field Editor of Harvard, MIT and Yale which entailed creating projects for professors such as Larry Wylie. He loved the job, but was asked to start the art, music and humanities program for the scientific publisher Addison Wesley of Reading, Mass., and he did. By now he was the father of two little boys and the family moved to Reading, Mass. The program flourished, but Glenn had discovered there was little way to market books to colleges which was cost effective, so he left to start College Marketing Group, Inc., with $18.00, a new mortgage and no capital. It was l968 and he grew the company with only himself, his wife, and 5 clients to over 3500 clients worldwide, hundreds of employees and at the time changed the way college publishers marketed their books to campuses throughout the US. He sold College Marketing Group, Inc. in l986 and the company became known as CMGi. He was at once a teacher to his employees and treated them as family. He felt that a business grew because of society and therefore should give back to society. It was in the employee handbook and CMGi did just that. Glenn also wrote a regular business column on books and ideas for THE NEW ENGLANDER Magazine, articles for the WALL STREET JOURNAL, HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW and a case study for the Harvard Business School having graduated from the SCMP program while running CMG.
When Glenn sold the company, he and Gail moved to Wilmot, NH where they had built a second home with the enormous help of Henry Stevens. The boys were at Bowdoin College and Dartmouth College.
A member of many business related organizations, Glenn also belonged to the Harvard Club of Boston and Berkeley Hall Club of Bluffton, SC.
He leaves a legacy of hard work, honesty, integrity, morality, manners and always wanting to give what he had to others in a gesture of generosity. Years prior to Alzheimer’s when asked what to say in his obituary, he said: “Do not put in a lot of stuff. I tried to do what is right, live by God’s Ten Commandments, and help the common good. I lived fully and I died. That is it.”
Burial per his wishes will be in Wilmot. Services will be private. Also per his wishes, his brain is being donated for world research at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center under the direction of Francine Benes MD. The Harvard Brain bank uses the human brain specimens for research world wide for a broad range of neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s and Autism. In lieu of flowers if anyone wants to send a donation, the following would be appreciated: Lake Sunapee Visiting Nurses and Hospice, Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department which he supported since l972, The Wilmot North Woods Church, the Concord SPCA of Merrimack County or Bowdoin College.
Chadwick Funeral Home is in charge of burial.