Longtime BDN employee and volunteer at Sen. Collins’ Bangor office dies at 88

Posted Aug. 16, 2011, at 8:52 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 18, 2011, at 11:01 a.m.
Virginia Glidden photographed in 1992.
Bangor file by Marc Blanchette
Virginia Glidden photographed in 1992.

BANGOR, Maine — A local woman whose career with the Bangor Daily News spanned more than half a century died Tuesday as the result of a recent hip fracture.

Virginia S. Glidden was 88 at the time of her death, according to her nephew Reginald Glidden of Orrington. He said until she broke her hip in a fall on Monday, Glidden had been in relatively good health. She still was taking daily early morning walks and volunteering at Sen. Susan Collins’ Bangor office.

“Virginia was my longest and most dedicated volunteer,” Collins said Tuesday. “She began volunteering in March 1996, during my first campaign for the Senate, and quickly became a loyal assistant in my Bangor office.

“She spent three mornings a week answering phone calls and greeting Mainers who visited the office for assistance. While she enjoyed coming to the office to spend time with those of us who work there, it truly was the sense of joy she got from helping others that would bring a smile to her face,” Collins said.

”All of us who knew her were fortunate to call her a friend, but she was more than a friend to all of us in the Bangor office, she was a member of our family and she will be greatly missed.”

Glidden joined the BDN as a clerk in 1942 after graduating from the secretarial program at the Bangor Maine School of Commerce, now Husson University. Over the years, she moved up from clerk to cashier, accountant, business office manager, special projects coordinator and then head of the interoffice service center.

While working at the BDN, Glidden returned to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Husson, where she served on the Husson alumni board, according to June 1992 story published when Glidden hit the 50-year mark at the newspaper. She retired a few years later.

Glidden was remembered by her co-workers Tuesday as a detail-oriented worker and a friend to many.

“Virigina Glidden was a hardworking, meticulous woman who dedicated more than 50 years of her life to the BDN,” said Arlene Boyle, administrative assistant to Publisher Richard J. Warren. “I feel privileged to have known her.”

“She really cared about the people who worked for her,” BDN switchboard operator David Dinsmore said. “She always wanted the best for her people. She was a lady that I would call a friend.”

Among the anecdotes Dinsmore shared about Glidden was a story about how she collected spare change and kept it in containers in her basement — enough to buy a Volkswagen.

He also said that one of the things she became famous for while at the paper was the bronze color labels she affixed to virtually every piece of equipment the company possessed at the time.

“She stuck stickers everywhere,” he said with a chuckle. One day, one of the circulation employees stopped by and prompted another worker to comment, ‘It’s a wonder she didn’t put a sticker on your muffler.’”

Glidden’s nephew said Tuesday that in accordance with Glidden’s wishes, a public funeral will not be held.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story misidentified Virginia Glidden’s nephew as Roger Glidden. His name is Reginald Glidden.

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