Charles E. Glasser | Passages

Charles E. Glasser (1940-2018)

With deep sadness, we announce the passing of Charlie Glasser on July 5, 2018. He passed away unexpectedly of heart failure at his home in Edmonds, Washington. He was 78 years old.

Charlie’s rich life began on April 3, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the third child of Hilda and Julius Glasser and grew up alongside his three siblings, Susan, Harvey and Linda. As a child, Charlie had a rambunctious spirit and active mind, which he carried with him throughout his life.

He attended Denison University, earning B.A. in history and forging life-long friendships. Charlie continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he earned his M.A. in political science and completed his first year of law school. He then ventured west to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he completed his J.D. by attending evening law classes at the newly-founded John F. Kennedy University. Charlie joined the California Bar in 1970.

After practicing law for seven years, Charlie returned to John F. Kennedy University to join the law school’s faculty. He was appointed Dean of the law school in 1977 and, in 1990, he became President of John F. Kennedy University — a position he held until 2003. As President, Charlie expanded the University’s unique academic programs, which primarily serve working adults in the Bay Area. His culminating achievement was the acquisition of the University’s first permanent campus in Pleasant Hill, California.

Alongside his career in law and higher education, Charlie was an entrepreneur. He contributed his legal experience and business acumen to numerous business ventures, including many in the areas of real estate, healthcare, and technology.

Charlie traveled to Israel in 1977, where he met and fell in love with Hannah Alex, an American-born ballet dancer living in Tel Aviv. After a decade-long international courtship, Charlie and Hannah married 1987. They settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they raised their two children, Gemma and Julian. The family then moved to Orcas Island in 2004.

As a resident of Orcas Island, Charlie contributed to the community by serving on the Ferry Advisory Committee and the Orcas Island School Board. Charlie and Hannah moved to Edmonds, Washington in 2014, but built a cabin in Olga to maintain a foothold on the Island.

Throughout his life, Charlie cultivated a diverse array of talents and passions. As a perpetual learner, he churned through books on history, politics, and literature. He had a gift for reciting poetry and was known to spontaneously launch into verse. Charlie was a builder at heart: he built businesses, educational programs, and communities. He especially enjoyed building a home for his family, which he continued to do up until a few days before his passing.

Charlie went through life with a forward-looking, positive attitude, an enduring quest for knowledge, and an ever-present sense of humor. He was a loving and dedicated husband and father. He is deeply missed.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Hannah Alex-Glasser of Edmonds, his daughter, Gemma Glasser, of Seattle, his son, Julian Glasser, of Seattle, his brother Harvey Glasser of San Francisco, his sister Susan Sholem of Rochester, Minnesota, and countless beloved friends and relatives.