“Service is the rent you pay for living.”

That often-heard statement from Glenn Longardner rang from his friends and co-workers following his death Tuesday afternoon. A former Ligonier mayor, city councilman, plan commission member, church deacon, Scoutmaster and member of two county fair boards, Longardner took volunteering to its limits.

“I really can’t say enough about his service to the community,” current Ligonier Mayor Patricia Fisel said. “I think he’ll always be a legacy in himself for his service, dedication and volunteerism. He was just a real asset to the community and it’s a big loss.”

Fisel remembers Longardner as a hard worker, who resigned from the city council just one month ago.

“He served right up to the very end,” she said.

City council president Ken Schuman remembers fondly his time working with Longardner.

“When I got on the City Council I was green as green can be, very inexperienced,” Schuman said. “Glenn just always made me feel extremely welcome and he was always there to talk about things that were coming up in front of the council. He was a tremendous asset, a good friend and a very knowledgeable person.”

Schuman also happened to live only a few houses away while Longardner was living in Ligonier before his wife died in 2002.

“He and his wife Margaret both were just incredible people and very good neighbors,” he said. “Glenn spent a lot of time giving of himself, his time and his talents in every way possible for the benefit of others.”

One of his favorite ways to serve was through his membership in the Ligonier Lion’s Club. Like with the City Council, he worked until the very end. He ran the Lions’ annual vision screening for first-grade students on the first of October.

“He was a dyed-in-the-wool Lion. He really took it to heart and enjoyed the things the Lion’s Club was doing for the community and was very proud of that,” club secretary Curt Gierhan said.

According to Gierhan, Longardner did a lot of work for the club while he was physically able, then became treasurer, a job he held for some time.

“One of the last times I talked to him, he was talking about how important it is for people to volunteer for things, hoping more people would do that sort of thing,” he said. “It is a very important part of our lives, volunteering to help others.”

Longardner was also heavily involved in Ligonier’s Marshmallow Festival, chairing the committee for many years. His efforts were instrumental in making the event grow.

Friends remember

Even before his passing, Longardner was memorialized by many people on the city’s Facebook page, which recognized his years of service to the city when he stepped down from the City Council. People from all over the Ligonier area posted messages honoring him.

“Thank you Glenn for all your many years of serving the Ligonier community. You are an example to us all,” April Weimer posted.

“Thank you Glenn. Will miss you there. I think the list is endless what all you have done for the community,” read Brian Hite’s post.

He was even thanked by a U.S. congressman.

“Thanks Glenn for your years of service. Appreciated the many years of working together,” Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd District, wrote.

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