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Teacher's death is great loss to community

March 25, 2013 at 6 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2013 at 10:25 p.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

Bay City recently lost one of its kindest and most beloved individuals, Mr. Tom Gladden. Mr. Gladden was a substitute teacher for many years and could often be found in a high school classroom. He was more than a substitute teacher to those finding themselves in his class for a period, though. Mr. Gladden was a reassuring smile, a funny joke, an interested friend and was as sweet as the homemade treats he brought to all of his students.

As if paying homage to the root word comprising his last name, Mr. Gladden was always happy and in good spirits. He was kind to the moodiest of teenagers, a feat that did not go unrecognized - even by those exhibiting such behavior. He had a gentle nature and sincere ability to see the best in everyone. Mr. Gladden touched hundreds of lives, and I don't know a former student who can resist the urge to smile when thinking of him.

If there were more "Mr. Gladdens" in the lives of young students, empathy and compassion would less likely be lost on naivety, and the world couldn't help but be a happier place. Bay City was lucky to have him in its classrooms, and I hope the community will acknowledge the significance and impact of Mr. Gladden's time with its students.

Suzanne Brangan, BCHS Class of 2006, Bay City

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