Sean Glisson was born with a heart of gold and an unflinching passion for history. He packed so much into his 51 years. He traveled, chased his dreams, fell in love, became a father, mentored youth, consumed history books, cherished the Phillies, and worked in a profession he loved.
Born in Maple Shade, NJ, Sean graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1989. He went on to graduate with Honors from Rutgers University with a double major in history and finance (and proudly without debt), and was Vice President of Underwriting for Republic Bank.
As a devoted husband of 26 years to Nadine (Scurria) Glisson, and dad to their three sons Evan, Alexander, and Gabriel, Sean loved vacations, the beach, and grilling for his family in the backyard. He was a fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Villanova, and Notre Dame football, and had a fabulous sense of humor that caused uproarious laughter in those around him. Sean was like a second son to his in-laws, Tom Scurria (Old Baldy member) and his wife Valerie.
With relentless energy and enthusiasm, Sean pursued a greater understanding of history by reading books on the American Civil War, the Revolutionary War, WWII, the French & Indian War. His personal library was extensive.
Concerning the Civil War, Sean was a reenactor for over 25 years and introduced his sons, Alexander and Gabriel, to the hobby and tradition. Sean was interested in all aspects of the war – military, political and economic, and was inclined toward military campaigns. He had visited either through reenacting or trips, most of the major battle sites from the Mississippi east. With his son, Alex, Sean traveled as far as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and the Carolinas. He was affiliated with the 3rd Alabama and 14th North Carolina. Tom recalls the concern many years ago with his then very young grandson, Alexander, traveling so far with Sean for Alexander’s first reenactment. “His wife told Sean to make sure nothing happens to Alex. Within their first 10 minutes at the Neshaminy State Park camping visit, Alex ran directly into a pole which left a GIANT welt and “egg” on his forehead! Sean was so afraid of how much trouble he was going to be in when he arrived back home with our “son” that the guys teased him about it all weekend!”
Sean loved traveling, and he and Tom spent the weeks before his untimely death on a twelve-day Stephan Ambrose tour following the Louis & Clark Expedition (1804-06), beginning in Great Falls, Montana and ending 2,000 miles away in Astoria, Washington. Both men, avid readers with book collections that Thomas Jefferson would have envied, already knew that Jefferson sponsored Meriwether Lewis to put together the team to explore the territories that were part of the Louisiana Purchase. There were large regions no white man had ever seen. The Ambrose tour was important to Sean. “We both wanted to understand the who’s, why’s and reasons our incredible country was founded, and the basis of our government. The Expedition was truly one of the greatest and most difficult explorations in world history. It changed the history of the United States.” The 19th century expedition opened the vast west to the migration from the east and foreign immigration to take advantage of the American dreams of exploration, ownership of homes and farms, and many other basic human drives for progress. “This region is also intimately linked to the founding of our country, Napoleon, the Spanish and British and the expansion west. It was another proof that the brilliant documents of our founding – the Declaration and the Constitution – worked.”
Sean heard about Old Baldy after meeting Harry Jenkins, a Roundtable member for over 31 years. Harry was a customer at the Cinnaminson diner where Sean’s mother, Jane, waitressed. She saw Harry thumbing through a history magazine, knew Sean liked history, and made the introduction. From then on, Sean and Harry had maintained an extremely strong friendship. And Sean did eventually join Old Baldy 7 ½ years ago and served as secretary since 2019. He was co-chair with Tom in planning the Western Theater Symposium that was to be held at Rutgers University Camden this past April. Besides Old Baldy, Sean supported the American Battlefield Trust Preservation and was an official fan of the Delaware Valley soccer group “Sons of Ben” named after Benjamin Franklin.
This past June Sean, his family, Tom and Valerie, attended the grand opening of the Armed Forces Heritage Museum of Burlington, NJ, about 40 miles north from his home in Hammonton. What made this event so special to Sean was the unveiling of Alexander’s dioramas. In addition to reenacting and sewing his own uniforms from scratch, Alexander has an exceptional, self-taught ability to create dioramas. He has produced them for multiple wars. Alexander also provided an exhibit on WWII uniforms and equipment. The museum management appreciates his unflinching passion for history.
Profile written by Kim Weaver & Tom Scurria