MINOT — A Minot resident who has inspired over 2,000 kids this year must retire because of his brother’s illness.

Glenn Blackaby has been living in Minot for over 20 years now, moving here from Harrison, Ohio, in hopes of beginning a new career, and to live with his sons and nephew who was stationed at the Minot Air Force Base.

After settling, Blackaby took on what he thought was just a seasonal job with Dakota Air Museum, but turned out to be more.

“It just so happened that the next spring after working at the museum, though this was a seasonal job, the board asked me if I would take on a full-time position as curator and I like to think that that had to do something with my knowledge of aviation and history and some of my other skills,” said Glenn Blackaby, director of Dakota Air Museum.

Fast-forwarding almost 20 years later, Blackaby moved his way up to becoming the director of the museum where he was able to give in-depth tours and engage with each and every person who came to visit.

This year alone Blackaby reached over 2,000 kids in the community whether it be at the museum or out at other local events

“A lot is fulfilling the mission of the museum. A lot of that has to do with educating the public about this great story of aviation it also has to do with, not only educating the public but inspiring the public with the story,” said Blackaby.

His commitment to that work over the last two decades cut into a lot of family time. The majority of his family left for Indiana while he stayed behind.

And his brother’s recent ALS diagnosis brought Blackaby’s time at Dakota Air Museum to an end, forcing him to retire and move to Indiana to help take care of his brother.

“I felt like it’s time for me to take care of him. He wants me to be there with him and I have other brothers that want me to be there with him. And so, I kind of have mixed emotions. There’s sadness with leaving this place and on the other hand, I’ll be with other family in Indiana,” said Blackaby.

Blackaby’s inspiration has touched many. Even those who work along side him say he can’t be replaced.

Brinlee Sisk, Front Desk Assistant) “I don’t think Glenn can be replaced to put it shortly, the work can be, but Glenn is definitely not replaceable to anybody at the museum or in the community,” said Brinlee Sisk, front desk assistant.

Blackaby said he will always come back and visit Minot and the Dakota Air Museum.