January 09, 2019
A Force of Nature – Glenn Ware: RIP
Only once before have we used these pages to describe the loss of a dear friend and business partner, which is twice too many. This time, we are all dealing with the tragic and premature death of Glenn Ware, a partner at PwC, who passed away from cancer far too young. On this morning, with a brilliant sunrise, it may have been a message from the heavens as it was surely their gain at our expense. Glenn Ware is not someone anyone could ever forget.
I first met Glenn on a World Bank matter, where internecine politics were threatening to harm the Bank’s global anticorruption efforts and the reputation of his boss and dear friend, a ferocious and effective anticorruption fighter, along with Glenn. Before the term “fake news” was bandied about, there was still fake news, often in the form of false accusations. And there was Glenn, in the foxhole, never afraid, always loyal, incredibly smart and ready to lead the charge. I remember critical information he shared with me one day to ensure truth saw the light of day. That was Glenn, always courageous yet always smiling, upbeat, and ready to “take the bastards on.”
Despite spending so much time with Glenn, there was always more you didn’t know about him. There was his patriotism, his dedication to the U.S. Navy, his three decades of military service. And there was his youth, escaping the limits of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and the university he loved – Central Michigan – where he wrung everything he could out of the experience and then attended Harvard Law, because he knew there was more. Is it any surprise that at CMU Glenn played two varsity sports, which required him to constantly run across campus to be on time for another practice or class? If there were only 24 hours in a day, Glenn was going to harvest every minute.
In an industry defined by “road warriors,” Glenn made us all look like amateurs. If we were frequent fliers, then he was a “constant flier.” I am not sure if he even recognized terra firma. Iraq, Japan, Vietnam, and on and on. But always home again, to be with his beloved family. His remarkable wife Leslie and wonderful children Tanner and Olivia.
For most of us who travel the globe, attending the meeting immediately after a 14-hour flight is something you get used to if not good at. But the return home is where mere mortals deflate, needing days to recover. Not Glenn. How many times were we at his home, with his family, having dinner, sharing a drink and always a laugh? Glenn had so much energy, he might have been considered a fuel source. He was certainly a national treasure.
What we have learned from Dylan Thomas’ poetry is that we may not even be promised that “good night.” Seize the day, my friends. Mortality is more present than we fear making the moment, the transcendent all the more important. As usual, Glenn is still teaching us.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”