From Beth Burns, photo by Kevin Casey, 2004.
Jack Glaser
  • 78 years old
  • Date of birth: Apr 15, 1933
  • Date of passing: Jan 19, 2012

Welcome to this site and to the opportunity to share your reflections, photos, memories with one another and with Jack's family. Although you will need to register to add anything, be assured that there is no advertising or spamming.

Click on "Stories" to have more writing space than is available on "Tributes".  Reflections from the February 12, 2012 Memorial for Jack can also be found there.

John William (Jack) Glaser died at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, from complications of congestive heart failure and liver disease. He was a loving and adored husband, father and grandfather, and a tireless champion of justice. He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, the second of three children of Clarence and Margaret Glaser. He was educated in Jesuit schools and was ordained as a Jesuit priest. His doctoral degree is in moral theology.

Jack married Mary Ellen Brodhead in 1972 in Detroit, Michigan. In 1986 Jack and Mary Ellen moved their family from Michigan to Santa Ana, where he began his 25 years working in leadership at St. Joseph Health System. He was executive vice president of theology and ethics, and his contributions to health care ethics and the mission were prized.

 served on the boards of Share Our Selves, The Wooden Floor, and the St. Joseph Health Ministry. He
 was a gifted writer, photographer, and a lover of the arts. His gentleness, wisdom and extraordinarily beautiful heart touched many lives, and he will be dearly missed.  

Jack is survived by his wife Mary Ellen Glaser; his sister Lois Stolz; his son Brian Glaser; his daughter Margaret Terán; his daughter-in-law Melanie Ríos Glaser; his son-in-law Diego Terán; and his grandchildren Andoe Glaser, Diego Andrés Terán, John Glaser, Claire Terán and Sabine Terán. He is also survived by extended family and friends. Contributions may be made in Jack's
memory to Share Our Selves, The Wooden Floor, Taller San Jose (all of Santa Ana, CA), or the Saint Joseph Health System Foundation, Orange, CA.


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Mary Ellen Glaser on 20th January 2018

"Hello dear Jack,
Today I greet you from my newly working Internet.  At&t replaced all the equipment that was installed by your arrangement when we moved in on August 5, 2011.  Internet kept going out, finally a very knowledgable technician(Sal) fixed the problem. Our system needed all new equipment, which he put in place and hauled away no longer needed cables and all. I have a new WiFi# and password!  This is a big step. It is streamlined and apparently simpler!
So keeping our home loving,warm, and alive without you is often a struggle, but  grace comes through.
Gabriele Carey is here working on the John William Glaser Papers archive.  She is a delight to work with, so capable and I have been able to learn and assist her.  Just found one of many post- its on one of your documents. Here is the quote, speaking about your spirit and thoughts:

"If we are to reach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children".
Mahatma Gandhi

Tonight all the grandkids are arriving with their dads for my homemade split pea soup, salad and grilled cheese sandwiches. Dessert too! The Moms are out of town pursuing career advancement opportunities.
You are deep in my heart and wonderfully around us all.  Miss you so!
Love, Mary Ellen"

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 19th January 2018

"I was a Mission Integration meeting today and Johnny Cox acknowledged Jack's passing on this day. His beautiful expression of mission was read and is certainly a treasure that lives on in our hearts and hopefully in our actions.Then several of us shared remembrances of how he not only touched our lives personally and professionally but his far reaching impact on a national level and most importantly how much he loved his beautiful wife, children and grandchildren. Jack your inspiration, brilliance and humble heart live on with us all."

This tribute was added by Christopher Leo on 17th April 2017

"I always remember going in to see Jack about his Vision for Healthcare and seeing the half read books on his desk and the newspapers all over the office.  He always had a kind word and would always listen to this young kid talk about healthcare reform.  you are missed but not forgotten."

This tribute was added by Candace Thorne on 15th April 2017

"One of my greatest honors and blessing having worked at SJH was knowing Jack. I will never forget the influence he had on me in a relatively short period of time. I miss him."

This tribute was added by rich statuto on 15th April 2017

"Happy Easter Jack! We miss you! Thank you for your profound influence and inspiration that has helped us make the hard and just choices for those we serve in this Catholic Health Ministry! Peace, Rich"

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 20th January 2017

"Jack truly lives in my heart and I think of him often and he is remembered in conversation with my colleagues for his wonderful legacy. his impact has been great and truly far reaching and the fruits of his labor continue to ripple out in ways known and unknown to us, such is the power of Love."

This tribute was added by Cindy Mueller on 19th January 2017

"Jack It is so hard to believe that you have been gone from this earthly life for five years now. I always felt that for every conversation we ever had I always walked away with something deeper to ponder, something that I had never thought of before. You were and continue to be a prophetic voice for our times. I share your "Central Reality of Ministry" every two weeks at new employee orientation as I believe it is foundational for describing what we are all about and what I aspire to everyday. Thank you for leaving us with such a rich legacy and your awesome smile!!!"

This tribute was added by Thom Olmstead on 19th January 2017

"Jack inspired me in so many ways and I loved him not simply because of that, but because of the truly extraordinary man that he was.
I have missed him from the day he left us."

This tribute was added by Rody Olmstead on 19th January 2017

"It is hard to believe it has been five years since Jack passed.  What an extraordinary man and a dear brother-in-law.  The innumerable memories I have of Jack~ (his humor and wisdom, the joy he expressed in simple pleasures ~to name a few) will always remain. Yet there is still a lump in my throat to this day when I am reminded of his physical absence on earth. He left us spiritual gifts for certain. Jack is a beloved and cherished family treasure."

This tribute was added by Grace Russell on 19th January 2017

"I loved Jack so very much. When you talked to him, you could tell he really cared and was listening .  He was such a kind and generous man. He was an awesome husband and father. I think of him often ❤️"

This tribute was added by Mary Ellen Glaser on 15th April 2016

"Today is your birthday, what a huge generous birth happened this day in 1933! Thanks to Margaret and Clarene!  
     You are dearly remembered by many of your precious family and friends.  We decided to honor you today in a unique way by focusing in on our work, the children and relationships,  not orchestrating a party or an event  amidst the mini celebrations that occurr everyday, especially with our 5 grandchildren.  Each one of them says loving words about you often.  An example, last evening Claire Teran age 6 brought me a drawing, "We love you Grandpa. Deth can't  stop love."  That's how she wrote it. So bright.  Today she can express for all of us!
     On a regular basis we visit your gravesite, putting mementos, plants and flowers near your headstone. I am headed south to the beach, where you invested time and found so much solace from the ocean rhythms and also much needed  time to rest and reflect.  
     Love, Mary Ellen"

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 22nd January 2016

"On Jan 23 Heritage Shared Services and Home Health will celebrate the blessing of our new building in Anaheim. Jack's  inspiring words will be shared. His spirit is alive and well among us. We are abundantly blessed! Thank you Jack & Mary Ellen! Best wishes to all the Glaser family."

This tribute was added by Christopher Leo on 22nd January 2016

"As someone who worked with Jack for a few years, I was blessed to have learned a few things from him.  His words are around us each day at St. Joseph Health and I was blessed to have in my life for a few years.  We work each day here to create community and UI know Jack would have liked that."

This tribute was added by Carolyn Olney on 19th January 2016

"It's hard to believe that it's been four years since Jack's passing. Jack was always teaching, if we were open to it. I think of Jack every time a young person mentions a Jesuit college they are thinking of attending. I think of Jack when the Pope speaks with compassion for the poor. I think of Jack when health care reform is discussed by politicians. I will think of Jack when I am ordained this Saturday as he was supportive of my work and ministry. Blessings to Mary Ellen and all of Jack's family during this time of remembrance."

This tribute was added by Candace Thorne on 15th April 2015

"A co-worker recently asked me if he could talk to me about Jack. He had just been through our LoFT program and had heard about Jack. I was honored to tell him that Jack was a friend of mine. I think of him often and always with a gratefulness for what he meant to me. So many times I wish I could sit down and just visit with him for I was always changed and a little wiser when I did. Happy Birthday Jack. You are so loved."

This tribute was added by Mary Ellen Glaser on 15th April 2015

"Dear Jack,
Your memory and even your presence is alive around me urging us to live fully and to contribute our gifts and talents to the emerging world. Your name and influence is spoken often by all 10 of us, your children and grandchildren.  And many others, too.
Your headstone at Fairhaven is engraved, "there is the dearest freshness deep down things" from G.M. Hopkins.  We gather there!
Today we celebrate your birth and the unique, brilliant light you gave.
Love, Mary Ellen"

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 15th April 2015

"I have been thinking of Jack this week as I sort through some of my ethics binders and came across the ethical decision making process as well as his pioneering work on Healthcare Reform. I feel so blessed to have worked with Jack and to have received and benefited from his wisdom, kindness and intellegence. His legacy continues,"

This tribute was added by Ronald Miller on 19th January 2015

"Thanks to Corrine Bailey and Mary Ellen Glaser for administering and maintaining this memorial to Jack.  To see photographs of Jack is to feel his presence and his wisdom. Those of us he taught are forever grateful. We can only hope to live up to his standards."

This tribute was added by Margaret Teran on 19th January 2015

"We are thinking of you today with love, Dad! We will gather together, remember you, play and laugh with the kids as we always do on this day. I am giving thanks for your life of love and justice, and sending love out to everyone who is missing you."

This tribute was added by Mary Ellen Glaser on 16th April 2014

"On March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph our family, Brian and Melanie Glaser, Meg and DiegoTeran and 5 grandchildren, Andoe, Diego Andres, John, Claire and Sabine, came together at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana.  We buried Jack, Grandpa's ashes in a lovely ceremony.  Each one put something into the vault with him.
I made these remarks. I post them here in loving memory of Jack.

"Having our family gathered around in this lovely park-like cemetery makes me feel very grateful and appreciative that our bodies and are spirits are here! for months we've been planning for this day.  I think we picked just the 'right time' for this occasion to bury Grandpa's ashes.  yet we wonder how this will be for us.

This precious box has been on a special shelf in my living room.  Grandpa's ashes are from his physical body.  We will bury them in the ground, as is the custom in many places around the world.  WE'll lay over his grave the special marker with his name and some important things about him.  This will now be a public place where we can come and honor his memory.

Grandpa was our dear leader when he was alive.  Even in his death he continues to lead us by our memories and thoughts of him.  What would he say to this/  What would he do in this situation?

It is interesting that today is the Feast of St. Joseph, who was known as a wise protector of his family.  A psalm for today reads, "Behold a faithful and wise man, which the Lord set over his household".

Grandpa lived a good life - and he died a good death.  Such ideas were some of what he thought and wrote about, and they were part of his scholarly work and teaching.

As a boy, as a teenager, as a student, as a grown-up in all these stages he was loving and curious.  He developed his talents.  He worked and played and laughed and loved.  He used his brains and his heart.  He liked sports.  He was musical, artistic and poetic.  He liked to fix things and even to cool sometimes!

As a husband, as a father and as a Grandpa he was present to us, very loving, ever curious.  He was enchanted with us, cherishing our special beauty and uniqueness.  Grandpa died a good death.  He came to understand his age and his illness.  He had the good fortune to be in the care of doctors he respected.  He died in a hoppital that he knew and he even caled it "my hospital".  Wonderfully, he got to say good-bye to all of us.

Grandpa believed in Easter! New life! Hope!  No matter the trouble, the problem, the sorrow, how big or small the disappointment.  He knew about a future we can surely believe in through it all.  As G. M. Hopkins wrote:  "For all this nature in never spent..." As the engraving on Grandpa's marker reads:  "There is the dearest freshness deep down things".
There will always be his spirit to guide us with "warm breast and ah bright wings"."

This tribute was added by Candace Thorne on 15th April 2014

"I did not know Jack as long as most, but it feels like a life time.  Jack inspired me and continues to do so.  He has made my life better by knowing him.  Happy Birthday, Jack.  You are sorely missed."

This tribute was added by Corrine Bayley on 21st January 2014

""Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east..."  --Gerard Manley Hopkins
Jack loved this quote from one of his favorite poets. Remembering him today, it strikes me how Jack was this to us: a dayspring to our dimness, eastering what is deepest in us.  I am grateful for his continuing presence in the minds and hearts of so many."

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 21st January 2014

"Sending best regards to all the Glaser family. Jack remains a light in my life and I think of him often. I feel so blessed to have known him. He left an indelible print on the hearts, minds and spirits of so many. While helping shape a vision of health he considered the individual, community and society with the common good at the forefront of all decisions."

This tribute was added by Margaret Teran on 19th January 2014

"Dad, you are still very present in my heart. Our family gathered today to honor your life.  We played together and thought of you with joy!"

This tribute was added by lisa frederick on 15th November 2013

"Jack, I have only the fondest memories of you. You lived such an exemplary life--so full of compassion, love, joy, peace, humility and dedication. To me, you were one of God's best representatives here on earth. Thank You for embracing my family and me. You and Mary Ellen will always hold a special place in my heart. Rest well."

This tribute was added by Liz Sorensen Wessel on 15th April 2013

"Thinking of Jack and offering up fond remembrances. I am currently enrolled in a university course on care transition in emerging health care models. We have been discussing ethical issues in practice and Jack's wisdom and teachings are a guiding light. I seem to miss ans appreciate him even more as time goes on.  
Sending my best to the Glaser family."

This tribute was added by Lia Klimesh on 19th January 2013

"Mary Ellen, Brian & Meg, my thoughts and prayers are with you today.  Jack was a sweet, good man.  May your memories of him comfort you.  God bless, Lia"

This tribute was added by Mary Ellen Glaser on 19th January 2013

"Jack dear, we have missed your physical presence so very many times every day all this year.  At St. Joseph Hospital we told you it was OK to go and that we would be all right.  We are tenderly moving forward without you.   We've hung tight as a family, speak about you often. I feel your love and guidance. Keep it coming. I'm grateful to friends, colleagues who remember you, stay in touch."

This tribute was added by Corrine Bayley on 19th January 2013

"This is what Yahweh asks of you, only this: to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.
--Micah 6:8
Jack embodied this more than anyone I have known. What a privilege to have been his friend; what sadness at his loss, and what joy in knowing he rests in God. Happy Anniversary, Jack."

This tribute was added by Kevin Mahany on 10th December 2012

"Jack lessons taught me how to think about justice and health reform. He was such a kind and wonderful teacher."

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 15th April 2012

"I am thinking of Jack on his birthday and my heart is full of gratitude. He was very supportive of home care and assisted us in beginning our ethics committee several years ago. I carry his blessings in my heart and I am thankful that I was fortunate to have known him...I especially loved his down to earth and open-hearted hospitality and acceptance of everyone, especially me. :0)"

This tribute was added by Jane Feinberg on 14th February 2012

"I had the privilege of working with Jack as part of a "study circle" of executives from Catholic health ministries across the country.  Though I was technically the "teacher" and Jack the "student," I was always aware of how much more I always learned from him, and how much I benefited from his fresh insights.  I will miss Jack's gentle smile, his open spirit, and his deep generosity."

This tribute was added by Marty Trujillo on 9th February 2012

"Jack was everything everyone here says he was, and more. He was also one of the wisest and funniest persons I've ever known. I loved his quirky and unpredictable ways. I loved how he'd sit in the dark in his office, eating apples, doodling, quoting Goethe, and flashing you his incredible gap-toothed smile. All the secrets of the universe seemed to dwell in that smile of his. I'll miss it."

This tribute was added by Jennifer Perry on 9th February 2012

"Jack had a profound impact on me, SJHS and Catholic healthcare  His amazing insight, clarity and commitment were apparent in everything he touched. I quote "Jackisms" on a weekly basis.  My favorites:  "Don't just do something, stand there" and "For every yes, there are a thousand no's."  I feel fortunate to have had him in my life.  He will be greatly missed."

This tribute was added by John Knuerr on 6th February 2012

"I first met Jack when I started work at Mercy Health Services in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Jack became my mentor as I was new to Catholic healthcare. He was an inspirational presence to many of us in that office. He will be greatly missed."

This tribute was added by Mary Elizabeth Lewis on 4th February 2012

"Today I found out Jack Glaser passed away - My heart is filled with much sadness.  I worked as Jack's secretary at Sister of Mercy in Michigan and have kept in touch with his life through Marcie Greeley.  Whenever I see injustice in this world I always think about what Jack would think and how he would frame it.  My prayers are with his family during this time and always."

This tribute was added by Jessica Klimesh on 2nd February 2012

"Jack was a truly compassionate & generous man. Endlessly patient, he was a staunch supporter of the "game shows," "documentaries," & other creative endeavors Meg & I put together as kids. Silly as they were, they were important to us, & Jack always treated them with importance, which made me feel special. He always thought of others first. I'm thankful for knowing him & will miss him."

This tribute was added by Carolyn Olney on 1st February 2012

""My best days at work" were often spent in the gracious and intelligent company of Jack. He gently pushed me to think for the long term on healthcare reform, rather than just the next political cycle.  He was a pastor and a friend to me through difficult times.  I was truly blessed to be able to spend so much time with Jack Glaser, and I thank God for the impact he has made on so many."

This tribute was added by Ken Stiver on 31st January 2012

"Jack provided inspiration, wisdom, and comfort to all those he touched.  He will be missed."

This tribute was added by Karen Gervais on 30th January 2012

"Jack showed ethicists’ responsibility to think and act for health and other policy changes essential to social justice. He taught us how to educate people about the system and its workings so they grasp the scope and methods of systemic injustice; and how to call forth their values, so they could imagine their role and participation in change, inspired by a vision of our common humanity."

This tribute was added by Mary Ann Klimesh on 27th January 2012

"In the late 1970's when Jack and family moved next door to us in Birmingham, MI, little did we know at the time how blessed we would be with such special neighbors. We can still see Jack, and hear him whistling, as he came through the gate that connected our backyards...always a smile on his face and wit in his words. He was adored and respected by our whole family. Our love to his family."

This tribute was added by Kathy Hayes on 26th January 2012

"Jack was a wonderful friend and teacher. His vision will live through the univrsal love he inspired in each of us. Thank you Jack for all that you represented and the vision of the world that you shared."

This tribute was added by Ronald Miller on 25th January 2012

"Jack: the scholar, theologian, philosopher, champion of just and universal health care.  His insightful wisdom was always delivered with caring and warmth, with a smile, with love.  He was a mentor in bioethics and life, and a consummate friend.  My sympathy to his family and friends: we will miss Him."

This tribute was added by Jackie Stobo on 25th January 2012

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity of knowing and working with Jack. He was so kind and always had time to answer my questions, share his insite, and lighten the mood. Doug and I were fortunate enough to spend time with Jack and Mary Ellen on our visits home to California. We will cherish the memories."

This tribute was added by Mike Goldsby on 25th January 2012

"I am sorry for the premature loss of Jack.  I learned so much, looking at his drawing/lectures and listening to his deep, big picture view. He welcomed questions and always gave me more than I asked for. I was very moved by his call to Universal health care and have continued to  work for this after my departure from St Joseph Health System, thanks to Jack.  Good luck on your next journey."

This tribute was added by Peter Bastone on 24th January 2012

"Ut meus carus amicus EGO partis is ut a carus philologus amicus quod discipulus of vestri phasmatis procuratio of 15 annus. Utor lingua of templum Latin communico per vestri plurimus philologus amicitia neque nec plebis. Vos donum mihi per decor nostri Catholic institutio , ut of discernment quod amplexus difficultas tamen ultimate sedo ut subsequens. Per totus meus labor vos erant sedo in meus te"

This tribute was added by Margaret Teran on 24th January 2012

"Thank you Corinne for this beautiful site to honor our dad, husband, grandfather.  Thank you all for your loving words.  I love to hear that he was loved."

This tribute was added by Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ on 24th January 2012

""Jackisms" - I have many of them floating around in my mind as I recall the impact Jack has had on my own ministerial life. When interviewing people for our ministry, Jack would say "look for the footprints in their lives...that will tell you if they are a fit for us."  Jack...the footprints you've left will remain with us forever...wisdom, joy, love and gentleness. Shalom."

This tribute was added by nancy steiger on 24th January 2012

"Deep condolences to Jack's family and gratitude to you for sharing him with us.  Jack was a major influence on me personally and professionally.  He taught me so much about ethics and values that are sometimes in conflict, and I can still hear him talking about tensions between the needs of individuals, organizations and society at large.  I will continue to be inspired by his life/work."

This tribute was added by Veronica F. Gutierrez on 24th January 2012

"Jack was a scholar & mentor to many. He was known to draw his ideas to help articulate his thoughts. He loved to think big and challenged us to think beyond. I was honored to meet Jack the first week I started at St. Joseph & felt instantly his genuine warmth, wittiness &his great heart! I will miss him but never forget him as an example of how to love and live!"

This tribute was added by Gregory Kirsch on 24th January 2012

"Jack, like his baptismal name - beloved of God or God is generous, nourished our hearts, minds, imaginations, and souls in ways we would not have entered or otherwise conceived. Thank you Mary Ellen and children/grandchildren with family and friends who deepened Jack's love and wisdom. We will miss his inimitable and delightful ways yet carry the prophetic voice he stirs within each of us."

This tribute was added by Joann Starr on 24th January 2012

Jack was a leader among my generation of health care ethicists. His mind was always leading us to new horizons and new ways of viewing the Church and it conundrums. He will be sincerely missed for his humor and instights.  Robert Lampert asked me to post this."

This tribute was added by Christopher Leo on 24th January 2012

"As someone who got to work with Jack, i feel honored to have had that chance.  Every now and then you come across someone who leaves a lasting impression on the world.  Jack was one of them.  Always with insights into the most complex things, he will be missed.  Your ideas will live on.  Thanks for your friendship."

This tribute was added by Giovanna Piazza on 24th January 2012

"Jack lived a rare and delightful combination, a gentle-man, with a brilliant mind and a wicked sense of humor!  Everything was better when Jack was involved ... more interesting, more challenging, deeper, funnier and always with justice at the heart.  May you, teacher and friend, “rest the blessed rest of everlasting peace, in the glorious company of the saints of light."  We remember you!"

This tribute was added by joann tabor on 24th January 2012

"Jack will always be a person of wisdom, compassion and loving inclusion of anyone he has met.  I remember especially his love of just the right poem for the right occasion...especially the one about not letting go of the thread.  May God's loving consolation surround your family and friends."

This tribute was added by Barb Cox on 24th January 2012

"Ah, Jack - we'll miss your warm and loving presence.  Your passion for justice, your dreams of community, your poetic and powerful writings and just the open-hearted way you walked with us brought God's dream more and more to fruition.  Thank you.  We were blessed by you for so many good years.  May you be home in Love."

This tribute was added by liz wessel on 24th January 2012

"A unique, humble and brilliant man, Jack left a mark that has influenced health care and human caring in extraordinary ways...the effects of Jack's work will continue to ripple out for the betterment of humanity for eternity.
I am so grateful to have known him. My deepest sympathies to the Glaser family."

This tribute was added by Ken Meece on 23rd January 2012

"Jack demonstrated and taught me and many how to hold truly trans-formative intentions with great patience, to call people to their very best selves with patient and understanding relationship, to care for everyone and everything with both passion and ease, to think deeply & speak in ordinary language.  Thank you, dear friend; thank you, thank you.  Your gifts live on."

This tribute was added by Laurie Julian on 23rd January 2012

"Jack demonstrated for us how to live with purpose, compassion, vibrancy and conviction. His ability to care deeply for the whole world and for each and every individual teaches us how to love.  Jack, you continue to inspire us and gladden our hearts as we remember you.  May the hand of God hold you, the peace of God enfold you, the love that dreamed and formed you guide you gently home."

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This memorial is administered by:

Corrine Bayley
Mary Ellen Glaser


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