Captain Glenn J. Secrest, USNR (Ret.), 74, of Middletown, Rhode Island, formerly of Minuteman Road in Ridgefield, died suddenly on Friday November 20, 2015 at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Captain Secrest was born on June 27, 1941 in West Haven, Connecticut, the oldest of four children to Adele and James Secrest. Raised in Mount Vernon and Valhalla, NY, Captain Secrest attended Our Lady of Victory Parochial School and St. John’s Catholic School in White Plains, NY. He graduated from Archbishop Stepinac High School in 1959 where he was known by his friends as “Ace” and gained quite a reputation with the nuns. In college he changed tack and became known for his studious habit of burning the midnight oil, graduating with honors from The State University of New York Maritime College in 1963. He received his MBA from University of Rhode Island in 1972.
Glenn married Ellen Breede in White Plains, NY in 1966 and was proud father to son Christopher Glenn Secrest and daughter Lauren Secrest Howley.
Captain Secrest proudly served in the United States Navy in both the active and reserve branches, where he served on destroyers and submarines. He retired as a Captain in 1986. He enjoyed a successful business career in the private sector with IBM, Holland America Cruise Lines and National Car Rental. He was an adjunct professor of Business at Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Upon retirement to Newport, Rhode Island, Glenn followed in the footsteps of his hero Winston Churchill, taking up painting. A gifted artist, Glenn was noted for his skill in maritime and nautical art and his depiction of the South Carolina Low Country and the Bahamas; his works were sold to patrons around the country. He shared his talents generously, most recently teaching art at the Newport Art Museum. He took great joy in life’s more solitary pursuits such as sailing, fly fishing and reading and was well known for his quiet, ordered life.
Captain Secrest is survived by his former wife, Ellen Breede Secrest, son Christopher Secrest (Kristine), daughter Lauren Secrest Howley (Chris) and sister Sharon Hauser (Bobby), grandchildren (to whom he was known as “Snuffy”) Molly and Jack Secrest and Mac, Emelie, Malone and Gavin Howley, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Lance M. Secrest, sister Michelle Secrest Bonsteel and his beloved Golden Retrievers Tam O’Shanter and Hadley.
A private mass and burial will take place at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. His family asks that masses be said for the repose of his soul. Funeral arrangements are being handled by O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home, Newport, Rhode Island, (401) 846-0932, www.ONHFH.com. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at www.nmcrs.org.
Many, many thanks to the first responders of Middletown, Rhode Island and the gifted staff of Newport Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital, and to our many friends and family members who have provided us with such comfort as we honor the memory of a wonderful man.
May you always have fair winds and following seas.