by Charles McGuigan
Richard (Dick) Wade Glover, resident of his own beloved Brookland District, died on Ground Hog Day. He was 82 years old, and had been married 59 years to the love of his life, Joan Sadler Glover.
Preceded in death by his brother, Armstead, and two sisters, Dorothy and Nancy, he is survived by his wife, Joan; his children, Jerry Glover (Liz) of Mechanicsville, Donna Parrish (Terry) of Plano, Texas, Karen Glasco (Doug) of Manakin-Sabot and Joe Glover (Trish) of Forest; grandchildren, Davis (Austin), Cole and Carson Glover, Annah and Jena Parrish, Sidney and Mason Glasco, Victoria, Jack, Emily Elizabeth and Rebekah Glover; and his sister, Juanita Angelini of Oxford, Connecticut.
Dick was born in Lunenburg County, down in Southside Virginia, when tobacco was still king. As a boy he worked beside his father in the field, planting the precious seeds in mounds of rich earth, then harvesting the golden leaves, one at a time.
In 1953, at age 18, Dick left his home and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After basic training in Maryland, he attended radio school in San Diego, and then shipped off to Guam.
After that two-year stint, Dick briefly attended the School of Pharmacy at MCV, and then enrolled in a business program at Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU). He spent much of his professional career as a salesman, and then started his own successful business.
Dick Glover was Henrico’s full-time supervisor, an elected position he held for 30 years. Prior to that he served on the county’s planning commission. Each week he worked up to 70 hours serving those he represented. On an average day, Dick received more than 60 calls from Henrico residents along with scores of emails and social media messages. As soon as he received a message he was on the phone to the appropriate government official to resolve the problems. For many years, Dick Glove often referred to his style of representation as “Visible, receptive, responsive.” It was not an empty campaign slogan or vacuous motto.
Unlike certain national politicians who seem to have a penchant for axing the arts, Dick was always a proponent of culture. He was responsible for transforming an old Henrico County School building into one of the Commonwealth’s most impressive venues for the arts—the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen.
Some twenty years ago, Dick was instrumental in launching what became known as the Lakeside Enhancement Plan. This aging suburban commercial district had been neglected for years. So Dick, along with his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors, committed funding to improve Lakeside Avenue. The results are palpable. Lakeside is now a bustling commercial corridor of thriving, independently owned businesses.
Throughout his tenure as a supervisor, Dick negotiated for large tracts of green space to satisfy the needs of his constituents. RF&P Park on Mountain Road, for instance, has become one of the most alluring complexes of baseball and football fields in the nation. Built on land donated by CSX, this park boasts several quality baseball diamonds including fields used by Glen Allen’s Youth Athletic Association for both girls and boys who play America’s most enduring game. Crowning it all is the Glen Allen Stadium modeled after the Cal Ripken Stadium near Baltimore.
Dick spent much time and effort preserving Henrico’s heritage by protecting important edifices along the Mountain Road Corridor—a sort of historic roadway linking the county’s past to its present.
“To be responsive and effective, an elected official must be visible and accessible to the public,” Dick Glover said during an interview several years ago. “I feel that it is important that I personally keep my constituents informed and I welcome the opportunity to hear their concerns directly.” Refreshing language from a Republican, when so many of that party’s leadership today run from town meetings, no longer interested in the will of the people.
Above all else Dick Glover was a family man who lived by true Christian values. He believed that every human being is a sacred vessel. He was an active member of Grove Avenue Baptist Church, and was utterly committed to his family, including the woman who had been with him most of his life. Dick Glover once told me, “If Joan ever leaves me, I’ll understand; but she’ll have to take me with her.”