Mae Glassbrenner


Mae S. Glassbrenner     1921 - 2015
Mae S. Glassbrenner 1921 – 2015

Died: May 04, 2015

Services: Memorial Service, Saturday, July 18th, at 2 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, 1427 Chicago Ave., Evanston, with Dr. David Handley presiding. Private Inurnment, Memorial Park Cemetery Mausoleum, Skokie.

Visitation: At Time of Service

Mae S. Glassbrenner

After a wonderful life, Mae S. Glassbrenner, age 94, passed away on Monday, May 4, 2015, at the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno, Illinois. Mae was born on February 25, 1921, to Christian and Helen Glassbrenner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After high school, she took the Civil Service Test and was hired by the Army Inspection Office in Berwick, Pennsylvania. During peacetime, they made railroad cars, but once the war had begun, they were making light tanks and thousand-pound bombs that were being sent to England. The U.S. had not entered the war when she started.

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she quit her job and returned home to Pittsburgh. Her brother Irwin had enlisted in the Army, served in the Medical Corps, and was stationed at Hospital de la Pitie in Paris, and her brother John had joined the Navy and served on hospital ships. Both were pharmacists and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Following their lead, on December 14, 1943, she joined the Marine Corps and was sent to Camp Lejuene for Boot Camp. Upon completion of Boot Camp, she received her PFC and was sent to Cherry Point Air Station, North Carolina. The group was told that two people would be given a top secret job. She was one of them.


Radar was an unknown factor in 1943, and her job was to train night fighters. These were pilots who flew at night from the ships into the Pacific Theater. She taught ground-control approach by means of Radar to see the enemy and be able to attack, or evade when necessary. They wore a black knight on their uniform. After six months, she became a corporal and six months later became a sergeant. She was accepted for the September 1945 Officer Candidate Class, which was canceled because the war ended and, at that time, the Marine Corps did not think they would continue to have women in the Corps.

After the War, Mae once again returned home and had planned to attend the University of Pittsburgh. By then, though, the University was full of veterans who had returned before her. Using the G.I. Bill, she went to Duffs Iron City College and, at the end of the course, was hired by them to teach machine shorthand. After two years, she began teaching court reporting at the Stenotype School of Philadelphia.

She received a call from Stenographic Machines, Inc., in Chicago, asking if she would come and teach for them. After accepting the job, she moved to Chicago in 1951. Although she still had no degree, she was approved by the Board of Education to teach based on her teaching experience in the Marine Corps.

Her love of flying continued when she came to Illinois. She would often rent a plane from Palwaukee Airport, in Wheeling, and fly with her friends to different places for the day.

In 1955, Stenograph sold the school, Chicago College of Commerce, to her and her best friend, who was also a teacher, Lucille Horstmeier. Teaching at the school full time, she attended DePaul University part time and received her B.A. in 1973. She received her Master of Education from Antioch College in Ohio in 1976. She continued to teach and oversee the Chicago College of Commerce as the Chairman of the Board until 1999 when she retired at the age of 78.

She was a member of the Women Marines Association, IL-2. From 1992-1994, she was the Secretary of the WMA IL-2, and in 1994, she became National Secretary for the Association.

She wrote a number of textbooks for machine shorthand with G. Allen Sonntag. She traveled around the world, both for pleasure and promoting machine shorthand. She trained teachers in Hong Kong, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, England, and Australia. She held the office of President of the Associate Stenotypists of America (ASA), which merged with the National Shorthand Reporters Association in 1970. In 1988, she was honored as the Outstanding Teacher of Court Reporting. In 1980, she became a Fellow of the National Court Reporters Association, and received their Distinguished Service Award in 1998.

Mae was also very active in her church, First Presbyterian Church of Evanston. She was a Deacon, Stephen Minister, an Elder, and on numerous committees. She was also an avid golfer.

Mae was an extraordinary woman who lived her life to the fullest. She was full of compassion and generosity. She was a pioneer for women in business and an inspiration to all. She will be missed.

Mae leaves behind her daughter, Helen (George) Scharfman; her grandchildren, Carolyn (Matt) Cox, William (Emily), Mae and the late Bobby Scharfman; and her great-grandchildren, Bobby and Danny Cox and Kenny Scharfman.
Memorials: Women Marines Association Major McClung or Fallen Warrior Memorial Scholarship Fund. WMA PO Box 377, Oaks, PA  19456-0377