St. Charles Park District to honor longtime employee and volunteer with memorial

  • Carol Glemza

    Carol Glemza

Updated 9/28/2021 3:47 PM

A woman who spent 69 years as an employee and volunteer with the St. Charles Park District died last month.

Carol Glemza, who was 97 when she passed away on Aug. 31, holds the Illinois Parks and Recreation record for the most years of service at a park district.


The St. Charles Park District plans to pay tribute to Glemza with a memorial near the Baker Community Center.

"Carol will truly be missed," Parks and Recreation Director Holly Cabel said in a news release. "She was one of those rare individuals with such community spirit and a passion for sharing her love of parks and recreation."

Glemza began working for the park district in August 1942, a few years after the construction of the Pottawatomie Pool was completed.

The pool was made possible due to a government grant that Glemza's father, Algert Swanson, helped obtain. The $367,000 grant was one of the largest awarded at the time and enabled the park board to complete the golf course, swimming pool, amphitheater, ball fields and stone bleachers in Pottawatomie Park.

In June 2009, the park board officially changed the name of Pottawatomie Pool to Swanson Pool to acknowledge the generous and long-lasting contributions made by both Carol and her father for so many years.

Over the years, Glemza served the park district in many capacities, starting by working summers as a cashier and manager at the pool. She then went on to help keep the district's accounting books. In the mid-1960s when the park district established a partnership with the Henry Rockwell Baker Community Center Board, she was hired full-time, becoming first a business manager and then an administrative assistant to the director.

While she spent time with family and traveled during her retirement, Glemza continued to volunteer endless hours at park district activities, for the St. Charles Park Foundation and with the Baker Community Center. At her retirement in 2011, Peter Murphy, former President and CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts, confirmed Glemza as one of, if not the only, employee with 69 years of service in parks and recreation.

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