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Eight Bells: Don Glasell

Published on January 20th, 2022

Don Glasell

Don Glasell, age 94, an icon in his sailing community of Chicago, IL, died peacefully at home on January 10, 2022.

A graduate of Iowa State University, he was a Korean War veteran, Chicago Yacht Club member, and owner of The Captain’s Emporium. He served on the CYC Chicago Mackinac Committee and was an “Island Goat” completing 56 races to Mackinac Island. In 2019, he retired as Curator of the Chicago Maritime Museum.

He was a US Sailing Race Officer and Judge, and as a member of the US Sailing Training Committee had spearheaded the development of the Junior Big Boat Sailing (JBBS) program. Don also served as chairman of the committee that developed US Sailing’s “Join the Race Committee Team” publication which is still in production today.

Additionally, he also held the position of Regional Training Coordinator for US Sailing Area K helping to arrange training opportunities for sailing instructors throughout his region.

“Don’s fierce advocacy for JBBS knocked down barrier after barrier and the result was a guide for youth programs that is used extensively today by our local sailing organizations,” said US Sailing President Rich Jepsen.

“He and I collaborated on one of the first initiatives for youth sailors to get them into different equipment, adventure sailing, and inter-generational sailing through the Junior Big Boat Sailing Initiative, leveraging a successful program at Black Rock Yacht Club, started by the late, great James Lubeck. Don’s legacy of service to youth sail training in the US is profound and I am grateful to have known him.”

Don also served over 31 years as a Director for the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation and was instrumental in the creation of the Judd Goldman Junior Sailing Program, located at Chicago Park District Lagoons. The Junior Program has been instrumental in making sailing accessible to inner-city, Chicago youth.

Beloved husband to Marjorie (Derrah); loving father of Glenn Glasell (Pam), daughter Gail Gutierrez (Hiram); stepchildren Bill (Alicia), Chris, and Katie. Cherished grandfather of eleven and a great grandfather. Memorial service to be held at a later date.

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