One Was A Cowboy, The Other A Store Owner. Both Were Elected To Office. Both Died Of The Coronavirus.
South Dakota State Rep. Bob Glanzer and Jersey City Council Member Michael Yun both died from complications caused by the coronavirus.
South Dakota State Rep. Bob Glanzer died April 3 after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. He was 74.
His son, Thomas Glanzer, announced on March 23 that the lawmaker was in the intensive care unit at Hunter Regional Medical Center after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He was later transferred to Avera McKennan hospital in Sioux Falls after he stopped responding to treatment.
Local government officials requested that flags be flown at half-staff on the day of his funeral, which has yet to be set.
“I’ve had several people tell me he’s the only legend they’d really ever met,” Thomas Glanzer told BuzzFeed News. “He was an anchor in the community, was an anchor in his church and obviously was a person many, many people have been impacted by — in his life and also in his death.”
Glanzer served two terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives after a long career in the banking industry. Thomas Glanzer said his father was inspired to go into politics because of his love for the state and serving people. The governor of South Dakota released a statement upon hearing of Glanzer’s death.
“Bob was a man of true integrity and someone I greatly respected. He epitomized what it means to be a true statesman and worked tirelessly for the people of Beadle and Kingsbury counties as well as for our entire state,” Gov. Kristi Noem said. “Bryon and I will miss him dearly, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Penny and his entire family."
The South Dakota native was born in Huron. He leaves behind his wife Penny of 52 years, Thomas his son, Sally his daughter and five grandchildren.
In his younger years, he did some rodeo, according to his son. As a retiree, he became active in the horse-drawn wagon community. He restored a hand-built wagon from the 1800s and took it and a team of horses across South Dakota with a group of friends.
“He did everything,” Glanzer told BuzzFeed News. “There was nothing he wouldn’t try but he was a cowboy. He really was.”
New Jersey is mourning Council Member Michael Yun after he died as a result of the coronavirus, his chief of staff told BuzzFeed News. He was 65.
Yun and his wife tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on March 29. About a week later, on April 6, Yun died.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop made the announcement via Twitter on April 6, the same day Yun died.
“It’s w/a heavy heart that we share that Councilman Yun has passed away,” Fulop said. “He was a great coworker and a tireless advocate for the people of #New Jersey….”
Yun was first elected to the City Council in 2013, at which time he became the first Korean American to be elected to office in Jersey City. Before that, he served his community by participating in several community-based organizations, including neighborhood policing initiatives and merchant services programs.
Vernon Richardson, Yun’s chief of staff since 2017, characterized him as a determined worker who, through his own dedication, inspired his staff to “work harder” for the people of Jersey City.
“It is a jewel of my life to have had the opportunity to stand by his side,” Richardson told BuzzFeed News while choking back tears.
Yun was born in South Korea and moved to New Jersey after first living in Brooklyn, New York. He owned and operated the Garden State News variety store in Jersey City for 30 years before closing it in 2015 to focus on his position as a local official. He leaves behind his wife, Jennifer, two sons, and three grandchildren.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who is desperately working to combat the disease that has plagued certain areas of his state, acknowledged Yun’s death in a tweet on the evening of his death.
“He was a respected leader and a good man,” Murphy wrote. “A terrific husband, father, and grandfather.”