High Desert Mourns Passing of Charley Glasper
By Eliz Dowdy
As April came to a close, the news began to seep out into the community that former Mayor Charley Glasper, the first African American mayor of Adelanto had succumbed. Many exhaled deeply; although he had been suffering with health issues for several years, his death cut deep.
Glasper was a “been there, done that” type of individual. He was an Air Force veteran who gave twenty-eight years to the service. He achieved the highest ranking for an enlisted man, Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). He had also amassed many decorations and commendations from his service years.
After retiring from the Air Force, he worked as a civilian worker at Edwards Air Force Base with the U. S. Army Airworthiness Flight Test Directorate. He stayed with that second career until December 20, 1996.
In 1997 his first wife Daisy Mae was laid to rest, and in 1999 he married the former Evelyn Malcolm. She was a retired educator with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Their union ignited a passion in the power couple as they began jointly serving the communities they both loved. Charley had joined the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) after Daisy’s demise, and Evelyn was already actively engaged in the organization. They became active officers in the local NAACP branch; Charley served as executive board member, secretary, and president. He had to step down as president when he ran for and was elected to the City Council of Adelanto.
He was not afraid to enter situations that many shied away from. During the lean years of Adelanto’s finances, he joined his voice to those advocating for cannabis to be cultivated, manufactured and the establishment of medical marijuana facilities. When this reporter asked him about his stance he stated: it was not his personal preference, but if the city could regulate and use that avenue to dig itself out of the financial hole, he was all for it. He stood undaunted, and never avoided this reporter when we were at the same venue, knowing I was going to corner him and ask questions. He also listened to what the people had to say, what they wanted from their elected officials. He walked the precincts, knocking on doors, and talking to the people that may have felt they were being ignored.
The city did not have a large supermarket within its boundaries, so Charley went searching. Adelanto received needed street lights, and other infrastructure because of the perseverance of Charley Glasper, even when he lost an election because of misunderstandings, he came back stronger than ever in 2014.
The communities he served and the City of Adelanto sponsored a black tie event for the power couple in January 2019 that was a packed house event.
Charley was the son of Edward Glasper Sr. and Beatrice Ratliff Glasper, born April 28, 1936. His demise came just days before his 85th birthday. Evelyn stated he was experiencing symptoms that may have been indicative of stroke, so she took him to a local hospital. After running tests they declared him as not having a stroke, and released him on April 23.
She stated how happy he was, laughing as he walked from the entrance to the car, instead of using a wheelchair. They went to a local eatery and purchased takeout food. They went home, ate, and she got up to get him some ice cream that he wanted. When she turned her back, he fell out of the dining room chair. She called 911, performed CPR, and when paramedics arrived he was still breathing. However at the hospital he went into cardiac arrest again, and they told her they worked on him for thirty minutes, as she sat in the car waiting, before declaring him gone.
There is no definite date for the services, because there is a back log at Riverside National Cemetery; the family has been told it could be June. But Evelyn is planning a memorial service in Adelanto when they get permission, for those whom he served, and want to bid their final adieu’s to come together.
Charley leaves his loving spouse Evelyn, one biological son, Patrick; four step children: Melissa, Kevin, Adria, and Milton Malcom Jr.