An occasional series on the people who have helped build Manteca as the city gets ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of incorporation this year.
The opportunity to open a new auto parts distribution center in the Manteca Industrial Park for Dana Corporation brought Glenn Page and his wife Lois to Manteca in the 1970s.
Once here, they set about making Manteca their adopted hometown with both contributing to the community’s fabric in the ensuing years.
Glenn was born as an only child on April 2, 1930 in Carthage, South Dakota where his family suffered through bankruptcy. As a youngster he loved to sell and promote things, growing dill and selling it for 10 cents a bunch while using his little red wagon for deliveries.
Glenn has enjoyed the warmth of the winters in Manteca in contrast to the snow storms he had endured in the upper Midwest. Lois came from White Lake, S.D., while Glenn was born in Mitchell, S.D.
Glenn wanted to impress fellow workers he left behind at Dana Corporation in Ohio, where he started as an engineer, so he put together cans of warm sunshine that were labeled with directions on how to feel the warmth of California’s Central Valley and mailed them to Toledo. It was easy, the label read, just cup the soup-sized can of “sunshine” between the palms of both hands and wait 90 seconds and miraculously feel the warmth of California sunshine emit from that can. Those cans were a hit in Toledo as much as they were in Manteca.
Glenn graduated from Mitchell High School in South Dakota. He served in the U.S. Air Force for four years. When his enlistment was over he attended Hillsdale College. He began his career with Dana Corporation in Pueblo, South Dakota producing automotive pistons at the rate of 80,000 a day, seven days a week. He worked as production manager, supervisor of machinery and was in charge of selling off $1 million worth of equipment. After transferring from Toledo, Ohio, he eventually became plant manager in Manteca until his retirement at the age of 51 in 1981.
Couple active in
in Manteca community
He served as president of the Manteca District Chamber of Commerce and the Stockton Traffic Club, charter President of the Manteca Morning Rotary Club that he chartered when a member of the Manteca Rotary Club, was president of the Lathrop Chamber of Commerce in 1990 and again in 1997, AARP Chapter president, as well as Chairman of the Lathrop Senior Advisory Commission. He also served on the American Cancer Society Board, on the American Heart Association as well as on the Daffodil Days Board. Glenn also served on the Commission on Aging and the Council of Governments. He also was president of the Lathrop Rotary Club.
He is a lifelong member of the Elks Club and the United Auto Workers.
The couple also was involved in numerous business ventures.
Once he bought a sweeper truck used to clean parking lots. He drove it home from Gadston, Alabama with only one headlight and never got stopped. His first customer was the Monkey’s Station on Airport Way and Yosemite Avenue. He subsequently cleaned parking lots in the Industrial Park on South Main Street, building up the business and selling it for a profit,.
The couple also owned a small building on North Main Street that looks like and ice cream cone that is now known as Hob Nob near the casino. They also owned a business called Trim and Tone that was similar to Curves for four years near Hafer’s Furniture.
In referring to their 42 years of wedded bliss, he said there was nothing he had accomplished that wasn’t a joint effort of both him and his wife Lois.
“We’ve been involved in community service for all those years together,” Page said of their total of 82 years in Manteca.
Lois served as manager of the Manteca District Chamber of Commerce after longtime chamber leader Glady Brock became seriously ill. She remembers going to see Gladys in the hospital where nurses said she hadn’t smiled for weeks and was without expression until Lois walked into her room.
A nurse told her that Gladys seeing Lois brought her first smile since she had been hospitalized and minutes later she smiled at her again. They had been the best of friends. Another close friend was Mabel Brocchini of the former Hardware Mart/Ace Hardware that was located in the 100 block of West Yosemite Avenue. Both served on the successful 12-member Special Events Committee of the chamber of commerce and continued their friendship for years afterwards.
Glenn led the efforts of the San Joaquin County Economic Development Association along with being president of the San Joaquin County Chamber of Commerce.
“If I don’t enjoy it, I quit,” Page said.
They met on a Tilt-a-
Whirl & have been
going strong since
Lois said she first met Glenn at a carnival in South Dakota where his good friend and her roommate introduced them on a “Tilt-a-Whirl” ride. They got on one ride and then on another and were so dizzy when they got off she realized they were made to be together.
Living in Colorado Springs then, Glenn had to go back to the base but they continued to write to each other, she said. She was the youngest of nine, raised on a farm on South Dakota where milking cows was just one of her chores. Among the daily challenges was having to walk three miles to work.
After they were married in Mitchell, SD, they drove a half paid-for 1953 Chevy with an ironing board between them that wore a hole in the headliner on the roof of their car.
As for their successes in life Glenn says, “I just open my mouth and she does the worrying for me.”
He said they decided to move west to Manteca after his research showed it seemed to be a community where everybody knew each other.
He recalled meeting the late Mrs. Clem Mulholand (Mul) who ran the Ripon Chamber. Glenn recalled that Mul served the best corned beef and cabbage at her house.
Page also remembered the late Don Stewart who was the only Democrat member of the Manteca Rotary Club. Stewart was the president of the local Carpenters Union who said he would eat crow if a Republican was voted in as the next president. Page and turkey ranch owner Howard Shidler got together and captured a crow and plucked it – taking it to the chef at Isadore’s where Rotary met weekly and had it cooked. The crow was presented to Stewart on a plate ready to eat.
Glenn said Lois was perfect mom to their son Kent and daughter Kelly as she kept track of his shenanigans and helped with his successes.
Lois is a longtime volunteer for the Manteca Fire Department’s Seniors Aiding Fire Effort team in addition to helping at the Manteca museum.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.