Thirty Who Dared to Serve Gratiot County in the World War- Part 21: Glenn L. Heibeck, “I Wanted to Go Across to France and Do My Part”


Above: Glenn L. Heibeck’s marker in the Ithaca Cemetery; photo from the Gratiot County Herald.

       Glenn Lorenzo Heibeck was born in Hamilton Township on February 24, 1890, to William and Ida Heibeck.  Glenn spent his entire life on the family farm until called to service on July 25, 1918. Glenn also had four sisters.

       Upon entrance to Camp Custer, Heibeck was a Private in Company D, 78th Infantry. He just entered the sniper’s school – a high honor for a private. His family noted that Glenn’s one wish was to get to France to serve his country during the war.

         On October11 1918, Glenn Heibeck died during the Influenza Epidemic at the camp. It was probable that Heibeck survived influenza but could not recover from a secondary attack of acute broncho-pneumonia. Heibeck was one of over 600 men who died at Camp Custer during this epidemic.

      When his body came home, his buddy from his company, Private John Halfman, accompanied it.  The funeral took place at Ithaca Presbyterian Church, and burial took place in the Ithaca Cemetery. The Gratiot County Herald noted that the Heibeck family had supported the war effort through in the fullest extent by purchasing Thrift Stamps, Liberty Bonds and by giving to the Red Cross. Now, the Heibecks had given their most precious gift, their son.

Glenn L. Heibeck was only 28 years old when he died.

Copyright 2018 James M Goodspeed

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