Tributes by Dr. Glenn
On April 15, 2008, Ruth and Glenn were presented the Coleman Distinguished Community Service Award before four hundred and twenty guests at the Annual Coleman Awards Banquet held in Akron, Ohio. The following Citation was read and Ruth and Glenn's acceptance of this award is also included.
Coleman Distinguished Community Service Award Citation for Ruth and Glenn Saltzman
Ruth and Glenn Saltzman are honored with the Coleman Distinguished Community Service Award for their commitment to improving the lives of people in their community, both professionally and as volunteers.
Ruth Saltzman, R.N., had a thirty-year career in nursing, culminating with ten years as a hospice nurse with the Portage Area Visiting Nurse Association. She was one of the founders of the Reach to Recovery program in Portage County, the first national effort to offer support to breast cancer patients and their families. Ruth volunteers on the Portage County Bio-terrorism and Disaster Response Team and is a member of the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation Board.
Glenn Saltzman, Ph.D., retired as Director of Basic Medical Sciences at the Northeastern Universities College of Medicine in 1996 and is an Emeritus Professor of Behavioral Sciences. His forty-three and one-half year career year career included ten years as a department chair at Kent State University. Glenn also retired from thirty-two years in the Naval Reserve, holding the rank of Captain. Over the years, he has had community leadership roles in the Rotary Club of Kent, Local PTA’s, the Heart Association, the Cancer Society, United Way, Little League Baseball and Pony Tail Softball. Recently, Glenn and Ilona Urban developed the Sister Jordan Peace Garden at Kent Social Services.
Together, Ruth and Glenn are active volunteers in a number of Kent and Portage County activities. For the past two years they co-chaired the Robinson Memorial Gala, which realized nearly one quarter of a million dollars for the Robison Hospice and Nursing Education programs. After recently co-chairing the Portage County Health Department Levy campaign, they received the first annual “Friends of Public Health” award from the Portage County Health Advisory Council. Ruth and Glenn are active members of the Kent United Church of Christ.
They are the parents of Jeff, Jay and Jill and the grandparents of Dan, Andrew, Connor and Austin.
Ruth and Glenn’s Coleman Distinguished Community Service Award Acceptance
(Presented by Glenn)
- I would like to start by introducing our family:
First, our son Jeff and his wife Sally Abbott Saltzman. Their son Dan, back from two tours in Iraq as a sniper is a student AZ State, and hopes to major in nursing like his grandmother and the many brave corpsmen he served with in Iraq.Second, our daughter Jill and her friend, Brian Tawny.
And Jill’s sons, Andrew Saltzman, a student at KSU and Connor Servantes and Glenn Austin Servantes, students at Ellet High School.
Lastly, Michael Servantes, Connor and Austin’s father.
Our son Jay, who is a Coleman Professional Services’ client, and doesn’t like events like this, said he was too busy to attend.
- Ruth and I want to thank you for this very meaningful award. The day after we were told we were receiving the Friends of Public Health Award in this region, Nelson called to tell us we had received this award…and Ruth in, her direct way said, “Do you think they think were are dying or something?” As far as we know, that is not in our immediate plans.
I imagine Ruth and I are among the few in attendance here tonight who knew Kevin Coleman. He was a student in the KSU department I Chaired and did groundbreaking research on children’s awareness of their own terminal illnesses. He studied their stories and art and encouraged caring adults to discuss these concerns in an open manner. This was against the current practice and broke new ground in child therapy. I especially remember the one piece of art of a six-year old terminally ill boy. The painting, long before the Tientamen Square debacle, was of a large army tank pointing its cannon a few inches away from a small boy’s forehead. With spelling assistance from a nurse, he had labeled the tank “Death” and the little boy with his own name. The little boy in the picture held a sign that said, “Help!” And experts kept saying they children didn’t know, and that the topic shouldn’t be approached. When my mother was dying at that same time, and we were counseled by her physican not to tell her that she had stomach cancer and leukemia, as it would be too stressful. We told her. Over the following months, she asked me to read Gibran’s The Prophet to her chapter by chapter and to record the date each was read and discussed. We talked of marriage and child rearing and love. When all chapters had been read and discussed except for the chapter “On Death,” she said, “I guess it is time to read the one about dying.” Her friends told her she would be caring for her rose garden the following spring, but she knew those were false assurances and valued being able to talk about the inevitable. I thank Kevin Coleman for helping us feel free to talk to folks about their, and our, impending deaths.
Over the years, Ruth and I have learned from our parents, and from our professions of nursing and psychology, that selfish folks seem to have the corner on anger and sadness and that altruistic folks seem to get all the happiness. A person can’t be caring and thoughtful to get happiness, but those who are caring and loving are rewarded with this special joy… this child of altruism. Ruth is the best, and most altruistic person I have ever known, and she is my role model.
Again, Ruth and I thank you for this award…it is especially meaningful coming from the Coleman Professional Services…a true Beacon of Altruism.
April 15, 2008