Herman J. Glinski
Herman J. Glinski, 99, Stevens Point, a noted Portage County attorney and former district attorney, died Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, while residing at the Whispering Pines Assisted Living Center.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church of Holy Spirit Parish in Stevens Point, with the Rev. Thomas Lindner officiating. Burial with full military honors will be in Guardian Angel Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. Friday until the Mass.
A memorial in his name will be established at a later date.
The Pisarski Funeral Home of Stevens Point assisted with arrangements. Condolences may be offered online at www.pisarskifuneralhome.com.
Mr. Glinski was born March 29, 1916, in Stevens Point, a son of the late John and Emily (Marchel) Glinski. His mother died a month after his birth. His father then married Katherine Gollon, and his stepmother adopted him.
When she and his father died while he was in his early teens, he was then raised by his grandparents. He attended Grant School and St. Peter Parochial School, where he was excused from attending the fourth grade and went directly to fifth grade. While in grade school, he became an accomplished piano player who performed at parent-teacher meetings, on “The Children’s Hour” show on radio station WLBL, on Saturday mornings at the Fox Theater and later at meetings of the Knights of Columbus and other organizations. He copied some of the flashy style of Liberace to amuse audiences.
He graduated from Emerson High School in 1933.
The parish priest then placed him with the Salvatorian Fathers who operated a minor seminary at St. Nazianz. After graduating, he attended a St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., a major seminary operated by the Benedictine Order. As a member of the Glee Club, he played the piano and sang, including a performance for the installation of a new bishop at Fargo, N.D.
Mr. Glinski was married to Ethel Shippy Sept. 6, 1937, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Stevens Point. She died Aug. 28, 2005.
They moved to Milwaukee where he attended Marquette University Law School. He graduated first in his class in 1940 with a degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence cum laude. At law school he was a member of the editorial board of the Marquette Law Review, author of a publication entitled “Joint and Mutual Wills,” and a prizewinner in a national essay contest conducted by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for his essay titled “Plagiarism of Copyrighted Musicals.” He was also a member of Delta Theta Phi, a legal fraternity, which awarded him a certificate in recognition of his scholarly achievements.
Upon graduation from law school, the dean advised him that several large law firms in Chicago and Milwaukee were interested in having him join them. However, he and his wife did not care for big city life and preferred to live in a smaller city and came back to Stevens Point.
He then opened up a law office in 1940. He became a candidate for district attorney of Portage County, finishing second among five candidates. The Democratic Party offered him the chairmanship of the Portage County Democratic Party.
He analyzed past election returns and noticed that there was insufficient participation by rural areas and labor unions, so he scheduled rallies throughout the county and spoke at union meetings. In recognition of his efforts, the U.S. president appointed him acting postmaster of the Stevens Point Post Office and later he became the commissioned postmaster in his 20s, He was one of the youngest, if not the youngest, postmaster of a large, first-class post office in the United States.
In the next election, he was elected district attorney of Portage County, a part-time position that also required the holder to serve as corporation counsel. He also continued his civil law practice.
While serving his first term in office, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.
After receiving an honorable discharge, he resumed serving as district attorney and, at the following election, was re-elected to a second term.
While in the seminary, he studied six languages, Latin, Greek, German, French, Polish and English. Because he was the only local lawyer who could speak Polish, he developed a large Polish clientele and the law practice grew from one lawyer to seven lawyers and eight secretaries.
Mr. Glinski practiced law for more than 65 years. For 31 years, his law office was located in the Professional Building on Clark Street in Stevens Point. He sold the building to the Stevens Point School District in 2001. Toward the end of his career he was a member of the Glinski, Klein, Anderson & Haka Law firm.
He served the following organizations as a member or officer: guest lecturer and instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, chief ranger of local court of the Catholic Order of Foresters, chairman of the Portage County Democratic Party, county chairman of the March of Dimes (the anti-polio organization), Wisconsin Committee for Association of Trial Lawyers of America, president of Portage County Bar Association, organizer and officer of Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers (now Wisconsin Association for Justice), director of State Bar Negligence Section, member of Governor’s Committee on Automobile Reparations, president of Seventh Judicial Circuit Bar Association, New York State Association of Plaintiff’s Trial Lawyers, American Judicature Society, Wisconsin Bar Association, American Bar Association, Portage County Bar Association, Pastoral Council of St. Peter’s Church, Knights of Columbus Third and Fourth Degree, Stevens Point Elks Lodge 642, American Legion Berens-Scribner Post 6, and various committees and organizations such as debate team, drama, athletic teams (captain of his basketball team), choir, music and Boy Scouts.
For 40 years, he and his family owned a summer house on the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes. He played tennis to age 80.
Survivors include four sons, James (Saundra) Glinski, Oconomowoc, John (Barbara) Glinski, Middleton, David (Kathryn) Glinski, Plover, and Richard Glinski, Stevens Point; one son- in- law, Michael Toffler, Fox Point; six grandchildren, Corrine Griffin, Jason Toffler, Kami Joseph, Jeffrey Glinski, Michael Glinski and Christopher Glinski; two stepgrandchildren, John and Michael Jagoditsh; 11 great-grandchildren; and five great-stepgrandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by one daughter, Ethel Toffler.