Mary Allness Glover

GloverMary Allness Glover, 97, on October 28, 2019, in Kāne’ohe, Hawaii. Kit, as her friends called her, was born on January 20, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill., to Nan Gardner and Carl Glover. Her mother died when she was 12, and her father remarried three years later. Her family live in several towns and states. After her freshman year at Oberlin College, her father told her she would have to pay her way from then on, and she picked crops, waited tables, cleaned, and worked a switchboard. In her last summer at Oberlin, when she worked in a hotel, a guest who was CEO of Detroit Edison Company offered her a loan for her senior year, and she accepted it. She graduated from Oberlin in 1943, discouraged by her D in college chemistry; but tutoring by “a flagman who was really a high school chemistry teacher,” as she said, made chemistry clear. Then on a job administering aptitude tests, she took one herself that showed an aptitude for medicine, so she enrolled in pre-med at the University of Washington, joining University Friends Meeting in Seattle in 1945. As a young woman she hitchhiked from Seattle to Michigan for a family reunion. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1950.

Coming to Hawaii in 1950, she interned at Queen’s and Kapi’olani Hospitals and transferred her membership to Honolulu (Hawaii) Meeting in 1952, where she served on Peace and Social Concerns and House and Grounds Committees. After residencies in pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology, she opened her own practice in Kane’ohe in 1954. Restrictions blocked her from putting up a sign saying “Doctor’s Office,” so she posted one saying “Parking Space for Dr. Glover’s Patients.” After one year in practice, she paid back in full the personal loan from her senior year. In 1960, she spent four and a half months in Indonesia on the hospital ship Project Hope’s maiden voyage. In 1963, she volunteered for three months in American Samoa.

In 1966, she enrolled in the University of Hawai’i for a master’s degree in international public health, doing field work in Micronesia for this degree, awarded in 1968. That same year she expected to spend two years in Benin (then Dahomey) with Operation Crossroads, but was evacuated by stretcher within a month with Crohn’s disease apparently triggered when, lacking her usual rice- and wheat-based food, she tried eating corn exclusively.

She moved to Nānākuli in about 1970 to provide medical services to some of the poorest people on O‘ahu. In 1973, she adopted the lively Hai Nguyen, then a boy of eight-and-a-half, on a trip to Vietnam. Hai spent much of his time with the neighbor children and adults, including Puakea Nogelmeier, who as a young man did Kit’s yard work in exchange for medical care and was a frequent hiking companion; later, as a professor at the University of Hawai‘i, he taught a community class in Hawaiian language, and Kit was his eager student.

Sill hitchhiking in old age—whether from Mānoa to Nānākuli or from the Līhu‘e airport to her beloved Kaua‘i beach house in Anahola, if she ever had trouble she never mentioned it. At age 82 she traveled to Australia for a Friends World Committee for Consultation meeting. She still attended meeting for worship in her final years and contributed to meeting for worship with attention to business, even with memory flickering in and out. In the end Puakea was a great help in moving Kit into memory care and supporting her there with friendship and endless games of Scrabble, in which she continued to excel, despite her memory loss.

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