Ed  Gleichman


Cullum No. 24212-1962 | August 19, 1982 | Died in Dallas,TX

Interred in St. Philips & St. James, Phillipsburg, NJ

Edward Albaugh Gleichman  was born in India, the son of Paul and Margaret Albaugh Gleichman who were Lutheran Missionaries. Ed was a gentle giant of a man. He was brought up in Easton, PA, and went to high school there. In high school, he excelled in athletics; he was on the football team and the track team. One of his track records remained unbroken for over 20 years! He was an excellent student. He played both the piano and the bass for the school orchestra. He was a true Renaissance man. He also did a lot of body building, so he was in excellent shape before he ever got to West Point.

Ed was recruited by Frank Lauterbur, an assistant football coach for Red Blaik and the West Point football program.

Ed entered West Point on Jul 1, 1958, with the Class of 1962. He was mild mannered and considerate but he wasn’t going to be intimidated by upperclassmen interested in getting tons of wrinkles out of his chin. He just sort of stood there, unmovable, with his chin basically out where it started (as in, this is the best you’re getting from me, sir). He had a wry sense of humor and on occasion a truly devilish grin. He played football for the first three years. On the football practice field he was a member of the B squad team that ran the plays of the next team Army was to play for our defense to practice against. Ed worked out, often on his own, as a dedicated strength development enthusiast (a true gym rat) long before it really came into vogue. 

The very sight of Ed’s well muscled frame and seriously determined expression could be quite intimidating. He was one of the strongest men in the wrestling room. He had a difficult time fitting into his dress coat. Even so, we all knew him to be a gentle soul and a true gentleman.

Exactly how it came about is unknown, but Ed was affectionately called ‘The Sheriff.’ However it began, it was certainly appropriate. His presence, especially since most of us in D2 were somewhat smaller than Ed, added a larger element, as well as a thoughtful, and generally smiling face. Somehow Ed seemed to be above the momentary hustle and mildly amused by those who were in the midst of an urgent mission. Ed was a leader in popular music. (His piano and bass playing talents?) In the early Sixties the Twist was in, and Ed was showing everyone how it was done— can you envision ‘The Sheriff’ doing the Twist?—Hilarious!

Ed married his high school sweetheart Sandra DeBosh shortly after graduation. Sandra often traveled from Easton, PA, to West Point to visit Ed during his cadet days. They had two children Cynthia (Cindy) and Charles. Ed entered the Air Force and was a navigator on a Strategic Air Command K135 refueling tanker during the Vietnam War. He received the Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He resigned his commission as a captain in 1967 and joined Ingersoll Rand in Garland, TX, where he was employed for fourteen years until his unexpected death.

Ed’s daughter and son both attended the same high school as their father in Easton, PA. Since their school principal had gone to high school with Ed, they were often reminded of their father’s accomplishments.

Cindy Gleichman: “When my father died, I was 19 years old at the University of Texas. While his death devastated me, his life inspired me. Dad was a humble man, not prone to bragging. Because of this, I was well into my teens before I realized what a big deal graduating from West Point was! We made many family pilgrimages to the beautiful campus when I was a child. My strongest recollection of these trips was the amazing view and the cannons of course. That image is burned indelibly into my brain.

“One thing my father instilled in me was a love of education, and the intrinsic value of learning. I graduated from the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing and became a RN. I earned a BS in Nursing from Cedar Crest College and recently graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Maine with a master’s in education. My children are Alexandra and Halle, and we live in Maine. I regret that Dad never got to know his grandchildren.”

Charles Gleichman: “My Dad died shortly before my 16th birthday. I realize that the rearing my Dad provided helped me become a success in life. He taught me about leadership, a strong work ethic, and to always do your best. After I graduated from college, I became a Pennsylvania State Trooper. My wife Denise and I have a son, Christian Edward Gleichman, who has reddish colored hair like Dad’s.

“Dad’s favorite book of the Bible was his little Book of John. I still have that. The day Dad died he dropped me off at school for morning football practice. As he left the school he said ‘I love you son, be good.’” That was the last time I saw Dad.

“One thing I valued most about Dad was his willingness to help others. If someone needed something, Dad was there, a smile on his face and a strong back. Although my father’s accomplishments were many and varied, I believe this was his greatest legacy: Quite simply, he was a nice person.”

Ed Gleichman, we are privileged to have shared some memories. May you rest in peace.

— Classmates & Family

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