Former National City Bank of Akron President Ronald D. Glosser was known for his optimism about business and life and for his willingness to discuss his religious beliefs because of their importance in his life.
“There was never a day that went by that he didn’t ask, ‘What can I do for you today,’ ” said his wife of 32 years, Lily. “He was the most truthful and honest person I’ve ever known. He lived his faith every single day. He was so good. He always had to be giving himself all the time.”
Mr. Glosser, 79, died Friday of a heart attack.
“He must have had 1,000 friends and I think half of them stayed with us for a weekend,” she said. “That’s just the way he was — a people person.”
The family found a creed in his computer on Saturday with a list of things he believed in. Some of them were: Cherish Family, Believe in Your Dreams, Treasure Friendship, Every Day Is a New Day and Grow Younger Every Year.
Mr. Glosser’s optimism was inspired by two ministers, Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale. He once called Schuller and invited him to come to Akron to speak.
He told him, “I’m a possibility thinker, too and I believe there’s a possibility that you could find an opening on your schedule to come to Akron.”
That was in 1984. Schuller, the author and star of TV’s The Hour of Power and pastor of the 10,000-member Crystal Cathedral in California at the time, told an Akron Beacon Journal reporter that he was intrigued by Glosser’s proposal and within a few weeks called Glosser back to tell him, “God found a way for me to be there.”
Schuller also ended up marrying the couple.
Also a fan of Peale, the author of several books, including the Power of Positive Thinking, Mr. Glosser managed to get him to speak in Akron on at least three occasions.
He also grew close to Peale, who Mrs. Glosser said referred to her husband as just like a son to him.
Mr. Glosser lost his father, a coal miner, when he was 4 years old. He was born the youngest of nine children, in Conesville near Coshocton. His mother raised the children alone and died at age 92.
Mr. Glosser served in the banking industry for 38 years and said as a banker he had a responsibility to the community.
“Anyone who works with people must care about the customers,” he told a reporter in a 1979 article.
He was 41 when named as Goodyear Bank president in 1973, the youngest bank president in the Akron area. He stayed in that position until 1982 when National City Corp. acquired Goodyear Bank. He then became president of National City until he retired in 1989.
He then took a job as president and chief operating officer of the Hershey Trust and M.S. Hershey Foundation in Hershey, Pa., until he retired again in December 1995.
He was also a former chairman of the Akron Regional Development Board, served on the mayor’s economic development committee, was a former president of the Akron Roundtable and served as vice chairman of the board of trustees at Ohio Wesleyan, his alma mater.
He loved the opera and had several leading roles in musicals, including Showboat, in college. He could sing and play the piano.
“He started as a vocal student and as he used to put it, he decided he wanted to eat when he graduated so he switched his major from music to business in his junior year,” said his wife.
When he graduated, he took a job with Cleveland Trust doing research and special projects. He came to Akron in 1968 to start a trust department at the Goodyear Bank.
His memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Chapel Worship Center, 135 Fir Hill. Friends may visit with the family at 10 a.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Open M of Akron or the Coachella Valley Homeless Mission in Indio, Calif.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.