In MemoriamThis page is dedicated to those who have come before us.

Linda Harshman

Linda Harshman and Jim Roy, both attending the 2005 Glasser International Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Linda Harshman, longtime Executive Director of the Glasser Institute, passed away on Friday evening, April 4. She faithfully held that position for over 20 years and did everything she could for William Glasser and his organization to be successful. Bob Wubbolding, who worked with Linda as the longtime Director of Training for the Institute, wrote that –Many of you have undoubtedly received the sad news that Linda Harshman died at her home about 11:15 pm Pacific Time on April 4, 2014. She was with her sister Judy and her friend Frank. She was under the care of Hospice for a short time before her death.Sandie and I spoke to Carleen Glasser today and she joins us in expressing our sadness at the loss of a very fine person. Linda was an anchor for the William Glasser Institute for many years and a dear friend to many of us.Carleen, Sandie and I were very fortunate to visit with her about 2 weeks ago. Throughout her illness Anna Corbett and Jean Suffield frequently visited with her and cared for her. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for their unrelenting care giving and support. Also, her sister Judy from Nova Scotia provided family closeness and support as Linda approached death.It was Linda’s wish that there be no public service held for her. Nevertheless, our prayers and thoughts have accompanied her and will continue in the future as we hold her memory close to our hearts.

Sonja Mae Kirk

Date of Birth: Sunday, February 22nd, 1942 Date of Death: Friday, January 31st, 2014 Funeral Home:Holmes-Watkins Funeral 400 Main StreetManchester, Connecticut, 06040


Sonja Mae Anderson Kirk, LCSW, (SMAK222), 71, also known as Petie, passed on Friday January 31, 2014 of cancer. Sonja was the daughter of the late Sven and Mae Wyman Anderson of Blandford, MA.Educated in the Blandford and Westfield schools, Sonja then attended University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Indiana University School of Social Work. Sonja loved life and lived hers to the fullest. With her daughter, Sonja visited the 50 states, 18 countries, and 3 continents. With the Sound of New England Barbershop Chorus, she enjoyed music, friendship, and more travel. With the Red Hat Society, she enjoyed all manner of activities, with lots of laughter. She organized innumerable family outings and gatherings. Wherever she went, she brought the fun and the love with her. Sonja was devoted to helping others as shown through her work as a social worker in the East Hartford Public Schools. She also volunteered for 4-H, her churches, and the Blandford Fair. Most recently, she volunteered for the American Red Cross Disaster Services Mental Health team where she was the Mental Health Lead for the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Sonja is survived by her daughter, Colleen (Chris "Duff" Dufrense) of White Plains, NY; her brother, Lynn (Shirley) Anderson of Charlestown, RI; her sister, Carol (John) Whalen of Westfield, MA; her significant other, Diquel Mendes of West Hartford and her former husband, Peter Kirk of Cleveland, TN. She is also survived by a multitudinous, extended collection of family and friends, including her Kirk and Blandford families, and her best friend Lynn Donaldson. All will keenly feel the loss of Sonja's compassion and exuberance. A celebration of her life will be held on Wednesday February 5, 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Bolton Congregational Church, 228 Bolton Center Road where she was a member for over 20 years, the Rev. Charles H. Ericson, presiding. A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Calling hours will be on Tuesday from 4 – 7 PM at Watkins Funeral Home, 142 East Center St. Manchester. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Printing for the Blind, P.O. Box 6389, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40206. To leave an online condolence please visit

In remembrance of a much loved friend and colleague, Barbara Hammel-Olsen

Unfortunately for the William Glasser Institute, Barbara Hammel-Olsen passed away on Sunday evening, Nov 10th. She had been dealing for several years with kidney failure and had been on dialysis for most of that time. She was still getting out and doing practica and attending NE regional meetings even in her wheel chair until the last couple of months. While in hospital this last six weeks with circulation problems she contracted MRSA (a superbug) during that hospital stay.

She is survived by her husband Al Olsen, two sisters, several nieces and nephews. There will be a private service on Friday Nov 15th at Condon Funeral Home in N. Middleton, NJ in memoriam.

Barbara was among the early Glasser faculty, served on the Advisory Board from the Northeast region (US), and was a senior faculty member by about 1975. She worked as a social worker at Long Branch school in New Jersey for more than 30 years. She was a leader in the Northeast region and on the planning committee for the New Jersey International Conference in 2006. She worked tirelessly as a practicum supervisor, instructor and consultant for more than four decades. She was instrumental in introducing CT/RT in Iceland and in Corning, NY.

Barbara was a soft spoken, warm and caring counselor and a steadfast friend. She lived Choice Theory daily, was positive to the end and one who never stopped sharing Choice Theory with the world. Her passion for CT and focusing on happiness will be remembered with a smile.

If you wish to make memorial donations in her name, Al asks that we remember the American Kidney Fund in Rockville, MD. Cards can be sent to Al at their address: Al Olsen 200 Portland Road Apt. A-17, Highlands, NJ 07732

In fond memory – one of her many friends,

Nancy Herrick

In Memoriam-June Leffler Garelick

June Leffler Garelick passed away suddenly on March 8,2013.  How hard to define her in one or two words.  Personally she was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and dear, loyal friend.  She loved deeply and generously all those in her quality world. Professionally, she was a licensed social worker, an active member of organizations that advocated for the rights of all (especially those unable to speak for themselves), and worked in several New Jersey schools as a family and children's social worker.  June was a long time member of WGI.  An early member, she was part of ETC, weathered the many blue chart changes, mentored and trained others in RT/CT, and had a special relationship with Bill Glasser's first wife, Naomi.  Her quality world was so big.

June led a full life.  Her sharp wit and intelligence made her an eager learner and an adventurer. She traveled extensively with her husband, prior to his death and then with her friends.  Her favorite trips were: 1) to China with her son and family to adopt a second Chinese granddaughter; 2) Her 50th wedding anniversary in Paris and 3)  many places to listen to summer chamber music concerts outdoors.  Her Quality World was full of beauty as well as the desire that others share their Quality World with her.  WGI was part of her sojourns.  Arriving early and staying late for international as well as regional conferences she explored areas, met friends and made new ones.

Those who professionally worked with her recognized her gift of quickly and expertly turning around a difficult situation.  She would stop, think, and then calmly, in a non judgmental way deescalate the problem. However, she was quick to point out injustice in social and professional situations when needed, but was also quick to apologize, when needed.  She knew the only behavior you can change is your own, but you can teach people to enlarge their own Quality World.  When she moved to a senior living center, she was doing volunteer geriatric social work with many older and disabled residents: listening to their stories, sharing music, books and photos.  Elected by her peers, she was center's representative.  June kept on giving and living.  Craig Schollenberger said it well, “…a voice of reason and fairness...dear friend, a lot of fun and a strong advocate for what is right, who brought quality to the organization.”

Personally, we will miss sharing pictures and stories of her wonderful family, her outrageous humor, her willingness to participate in our lives, our multiple sojourns and her being there to remind us of the big picture--and the beauties of the smaller ones.

-Barbara Lombardi and Megan Geist Fates