Michael F. Glacken, MD

  • Died: May 17, 2017
  • Location: Thornton, Pennsylvania

Donohue Funeral Homes, Inc.

1627 West Chester Pike
West Chester, PA 19382

Tel. (610) 431-9000

Tribute & Message From The Family

Beloved Husband, Loving Father, Grandfather, & Brother

Message From The Family

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Dr. Glacken had been diagnosed Feb. 17 with an aggressive form of the disease, but was determined to fit in a long-planned trip to Disney World with his wife, daughter, and grandson, said his sister, Maureen Smith-Hartman.

When he had to be hospitalized, other close family members quickly booked a flight to Florida and were at his bedside when he died, his sister said.

For 33 years, Dr. Glacken practiced psychiatry, treating patients with drug, alcohol and sex addictions. He had an office in Glen Mills. He also was the medical director of several treatment centers in the Philadelphia area. His most recent affiliation was with the Keystone Center in Chester.

After learning that he was terminally ill, Dr. Glacken kept working. "He was amazing," his sister said.

Born in Philadelphia, he grew up in Drexel Hill and graduated from Upper Darby High School. He worked as a proofreader at a printing business in Philadelphia until deciding to pursue a college degree in his late 20s. He went to Delaware County Community College and transferred to Cabrini College, Radnor, from which he graduated at age 28 with a bachelor's degree.

He went on to earn a medical degree from what is now the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in 1984, and then served a residency at Temple University Hospital.

Dr. Roy Steinhouse knew Dr. Glacken from his days as a medical student. "I was pleased to be one of his teachers during his residency in psychiatry. He was a fine man and a fine doctor. My thoughts are with his family," Dr. Steinhouse said.

"He was one of the nicest people I have ever known," said Juanita Sparrow, an assistant in Temple's psychiatry program. "In my 39 years here, we have had many, many residents come through this program, but he stood out."

A man of many interests, Dr. Glacken played the piano, composed music for the enjoyment of family and friends, and was an avid tennis player, golfer, and swimmer.

"He would keep his unheated pool open until Thanksgiving, swimming daily in a wet suit," said Clem Murray, a longtime friend and Inquirer and Daily News photographer.

He loved driving fast cars, preferably convertibles. "He would drive with the top down during sunny winter days, wearing a knit hat over his bald head to keep warm," Murray said.

Dr. Glacken enjoyed photography and videography. "He is the only doctor I know whose dream job was to be a photographer," said Murray.

The doctor created so many videos to commemorate special occasions for family and friends that he earned the sobriquet "Uncle Mike's Studios."

"He was the nicest, happiest, most friendly man you'd ever meet, the type of guy who, when you met him for the first time, you come away thinking Mike was your best friend after 30 minutes," Murray said. "He just had that type of personality."

His sister said Dr. Glacken was a natural learner. "He could grasp things so easily. You would say something [about a problem], and he would come up with a solution," she said. "He was creative, innovative."

He married Kathleen Sperber Glacken. The couple had two children whom they reared in Thornton.

In addition to his sister and wife, he is survived by children Matthew M. and Maura K.; two grandchildren; another sister; and a brother.

A visitation from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 2, at the Donohue Funeral Home, 1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, will be followed by a second visitation from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at SS. Simon and Jude Church, 8 Cavanaugh Court, West Chester. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial is private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Keystone Center, 2001 Providence Ave., Chester, Pa. 19013, or the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Box 4486, Houston, Texas 77210.