Glenn Addison

Glenn Addison, owner of Magnolia Funeral Home and Magnolia Memorial Gardens, has spent his career giving back to his community.

In addition to running the funeral home, which he considers part of his ministry to help families through difficult times, Addison spent 15 years giving back to the community through his work as a member of the Magnolia Independent School District board. Six of those years were as president of the board.

"He is really an unsung hero in our community," Magnolia ISD Board President Deborah Rose Miller said. "Because of his personality, he stays behind the scenes."

Addison, a self-described numbers guy, helped the district with finances during his time on the school board from 1997 to 2011.

"He saved the school district a ton of money with his fiscal responsibility while on the school board," Miller said. "He has many talents, but that is certainly one of his gifts."

Addison said it was an honor to serve on the school board during a time of rapid growth in the district.

"I worked to help our community by trying to keep costs down for the district so we can maximize the dollars going into the classroom," he said.

Addison still contributes to the schools. He recently donated $3,600 to Magnolia ISD for iPads to be given this spring to the winners of a science contest—one student at each of the district's 12 schools.

"I wanted to give something every child had an equal chance at winning," he said. "So often the deck is stacked. I want to encourage every child."

Addison is driven by a passion to help the local community.

"I believe everyone should be involved in their community and contribute to improve it," Addison said.

Addison also donates money to the Magnolia Historical Society, often helping sponsor the nonprofit's annual Depot Day event.

"It's important to always remember our history," Addison said.

In addition, Addison contributed $1,000 recently to the Magnolia Community Foundation for the winner of the Miss Magnolia pageant.

"Glenn Addison is someone who always takes time for the individual, whether it is a grieving family member or an unhappy parent [while on the school board]," said Tana Ross, Magnolia's economic development coordinator.

Addison graduated from Magnolia High School. He met his wife, Lorie, at Abilene Christian University, and the couple raised their two children in Magnolia. They now have two grandchildren.

In 2011, Addison ran for U.S. Senate, seeking a change in the direction of the country. Despite losing, Addison said he learned a lot.

"It was the longest of long shots, but I just felt like a common man needs to represent the people," he said. "I said if God wants me to win, I will. He didn't. I'm at peace with that."

Addison often travels overseas for missionary trips.

"I want everyone to hear about Jesus at least once in their lives," he said.

In the last two years, Addison has traveled to Uganda, Nicaragua, Liberia, India and Cambodia for missionary work.

"Despite all he's done, he's still the kind of volunteer who rolls up his sleeves and works at the grass-roots level," Miller said.