At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
ANSWER (American-Nepali Students' and Women's Educational Relief)
P.O. Box 68401
Grand Rapids, MI 49516
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Wayne Glatz would agree that he was the heartbeat of wherever he went. He was hard working and driven to succeed, yet he was also humble and generous as well. Wayne was deeply devoted to his loved ones, and as fathers go he was second to none. Eager to serve others, he touched the lives of so many through his numerous acts of selfless service in all kinds of ways. Life will never be the same without Wayne here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
Life in America was certainly exciting during the 1950s. Civil rights came into focus when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, lighting the fire for what became a full movement in the years to come. There was much to celebrate by the end of the decade as we added Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great joy in the lives of Russ and Janet (Muenchausen) Glatz as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Wayne Alan on March 22, 1956, in Trenton, Michigan. He was raised in the Downriver area of Detroit alongside his sister, Lisa Ann. When his father took a job transfer that brought the family to Cheboygan, Wayne wasn’t too excited about it at first since he was very devoted to his studies and worried that his education would suffer as a result. As it turned out, Wayne ended up loving their new home on an 80 acre farm since he fell in love with the outdoors. He especially loved boating on Mullett Lake. When he was 12, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but it was through that experience that he developed his lifelong attitude that no matter what, he would find a way to overcome.
After graduating from Cheboygan High in 1974, Wayne was given a full ride scholarship to Central Michigan University because of his excellent ACT score. There, he chose to study broadcasting/journaling. With his education behind him, Wayne took a job at Channel 12 in Flint. A short time later, he took a job at Channel 13 where he was part of the investigative journalism team as well as their show, PM Magazine. Wayne handled the camera and production part
In 1990, Wayne started a video production team called Cynthia Kay/Wayne Glatz Film and Video with a partner. They handled video production needs for many different clients from very large companies to non profit organizations. After suffering a stroke and his worsening Crohn’s disease, Wayne was forced to sell the company and go to work full-time. For the last 15 years he was working with Grand Rapids Community Media Center, assisting with production for non-profit organizations like Migrant Legal Aid.
Life was forever changed for Wayne when he met a woman named Lisa Tjoelker in 1991 on a blind date with friends. Sparks flew right from the start as she was attracted to his love of family, his love for the outdoors, and the fact that he was an entrepreneur as she liked that he was willing to take risks. They began dating, and on December 26, 1992, they were married at Trinity Reformed Church. Together they welcomed two children, Ethan in 1994 and Natalie in 1996, into their hearts and home.
There was nothing of greater importance in Wayne’s life than his family. He often came home late after work, when it was at least 9 p.m., and had his dinner. Wayne’s kids always sat on his lap since it gave them the opportunity to have a second dinner! Most mornings, he made breakfast for his kids, and he also made sure their car was brushed off if it had snowed overnight. Wayne’s specialty was pancakes, but he usually made enough for an entire army! He was also very involved in his kids’ schools, even serving as president of the PTA for a time. He even had a key to the school, which meant that sometimes his friend would text him, “Your dad is at school, you better get here too!” Just like his own, his kids’ education was very important to Wayne.
Throughout his life Wayne had several interests. He loved listening to music as well as playing his guitar. Although he took a couple of lessons when he was 12, he was primarily self taught. Wayne played several stringed instruments including the 12 string, 6 string, acoustic, electric, and bass guitars. He was a fan of Yes, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton. Wayne loved to water ski, and their family spent countless hours together on their Mastercraft. Wayne taught a lot of people to ski behind that boat. Their family enjoyed camping together including at Aloha State Park and Gun Lake around the Fourth of July. Just like his father, Wayne liked to ride a motorcycle as well. When he was eight, Wayne’s son, Ethan, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Through that journey they were introduced to the Midnight Ride - a motorcycle parade from Rockford up to the Mackinac Bridge all during the night. This ride raises money for juvenile diabetes. He and Ethan were able to ride it together since Wayne had Honda VTZ 1300 and Ethan had a 1977 Yamaha XS 750. They were looking forward to a three-generation Midnight Ride. Over the years, Wayne was very active in serving within his community including in various church groups, youth groups, as a deacon, with the worship team, and with the West Side Food Drive.
There was no one who met Wayne Glatz and left unchanged. He was an extreme extrovert with a contagious zest for life and a heart that beat to help others. Even when facing health challenges throughout his life, Wayne’s courage, strength, and positive outlook were such an inspiration. He was a devoted father whose love for his family was unmatched. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.