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July 30, 2009

GEORGE W. ANGLEN
(9/2/1924 - 7/12/2009)



George W. Anglen passed away peacefully on July 12, 2009 after a recent illness. He was surrounded by his entire family as he passed from this world.

He was born September 2, 1924, to Rev. and Mrs. Harry Post Anglen in Pulaski, IL. He was the third son and fourth child of five siblings. His childhood was spent in small towns in Missouri, including Tebbetts, Shelbina, New Bloomfield, and Gorin where his father had assignments with Methodist Churches. He attended High School in Sturgeon, where he played on the basketball team, being described in the yearbook as "the defensive mainstay of the team" with a "fighting spirit". He graduated in 1942, as president of the senior class.

Shortly after graduation, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps and entered basic training in California. For the first time in his life, he was farther than 25 miles away from home. After earning his wings, he was sent to advanced air training in Texas, New Mexico and Iowa to learn how to pilot B-17 bombers. He met his combat crew in Omaha, Nebraska. They were soon known as "Anglen's Angels", and were to become lifelong friends. In 1943, they shipped out for the European Theatre and flew combat missions from England. On their last mission as a crew their plane was hit with anti-aircraft fire, destroying 3 of 4 engines and severely damaging the wings. He tried to make it to Switzerland, but could not; he was the last member of the crew to bail out just moments before the plane crashed in Germany. He spent the rest of the war as a POW, mainly in Stalag Luft III, where the "Great Escape" occurred. He did not see most of the members of his crew again until 1982, when they began yearly reunions for the next decade.

He survived the 4-month Death March from Zagan, Poland to Moosburg, Germany in the spring of 1944. He was liberated by George Patton's forces in 1945.

After returning from the war, he attended the University of Missouri, earning a Bachelor's of Business Administration in 1949. George was a lifelong Tiger fan and season ticket holder. On September 16, 1950, he married Mary Alice Owens, and they were partners in life for 59 years, never apart for more than a few days, until his death. She survives.

He spent his career in the insurance industry, first as an underwriting manager in Kansas City and then returning to Columbia in 1964 to organize Daniel Boone Underwriters for MFA (later Shelter) Insurance. In the mid 1970's, he went into business for himself and started Anglen Insurance Agency in Columbia. He raised three sons, serving as Indian guide leader, Boy Scout leader, football, basketball and little league coach. He taught them throwing, catching, hammering nails, sawing wood, mowing grass, how to ride a bike and drive a car. He demonstrated the importance of hard work. He built tree houses, snow forts, and pinewood derby cars; took care of all manner of small pets, canine, feline, rodent and reptile; put millions of worms on hooks, took home movies on film, caught fastballs, drove a station wagon without air conditioning cross country on many family summer vacations, pulled snow sleds, pitched tents, paddled the canoes, started the campfires. He made breakfast. In 1990, he sold the agency and retired. In retirement, he traveled the world with the woman he loved, making friends wherever he went, pursued his lifelong passion for fishing (mostly at the lake of the Ozarks), and enjoyed his family and grandchildren. He and Mary Alice had a series of small white poodle dogs that they loved; most recently, Stacy.

He was a member and Deacon of the Broadway Christian Church. He was a member of the American Ex-POWs, VFW, and American Legion. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, friend, patriot and Tiger fan. He lived life with a quiet, humble dignity and strength. Friends and Family will remember him for his happy disposition, his courage, his desire to give and help others.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Alice, of Columbia; three sons, Dr. Jeffrey Anglen and Wife Diane, of Indianapolis, IN, Randy Anglen Esq of Branson, Dr. R. Lindsay Anglen and wife Charlanne, of Avondale, AZ; 10 grandchildren, and two sisters: Ruth Monroe of Columbia and Mary Coons of Balston Spa New York.

His two brothers, and all the members of his bomber crew, preceded him in death.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, August 1st, 2009 at 11 a.m. at the Broadway Christian Church with visitation from 10 a.m. until service time. Donations can be made to American Ex-POWs, 1201 S. Johnmeyer Lane, Columbia, 65203. E-mail condolences may be sent to: anglen@hotmail.com

Tributes can be left online at www.memorialfuneralhome andcemetery.com.


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Memphis Democrat
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