RACINE — Alderwoman Carrie Glenn is being remembered as a “passionate” and “fearless” public servant following her Wednesday morning passing at 55.
“She was a very strong woman, a very positive person,” recalled her husband of 31 years, Charlie Glenn. “She liked to help people — anybody at any time. She was very passionate about the Fourth of July parade, very passionate about her alderman position. She always tried to do the best she could. She was an amazing, strong person. Even in her passing she was a champion.”
Of his wife’s passing, Charlie said it was “very, very unexpected,” noting it was not COVID-related.
Political newcomer Glenn unseated incumbent District 10 Alderman Dennis Wiser in 2018. A member of the council’s Public Safety and Licensing Committee, Glenn was re-elected to her two-year seat on the Common Council earlier this year, fending off a challenge by Sam Peete, a member of the city’s Planning, Heritage and Design Committee.
“She said she couldn’t complain about politics if she wasn’t involved,” Charlie Glenn recalled. “She wanted to make a difference. That’s why they seemed to bump heads so much on the Council. Carrie was very passionate about what she believed in and what she wanted done.”
Weidner pays tribute
Longtime friend Sandy Weidner, a veteran 20-year Racine Common Council District 6 representative from 2000-2020 who also ran for mayor, is keenly feeling Glenn’s passing.
“I will always, always miss Carrie,” she said. “I feel a real hole with her gone … So many people are going to miss her.”
Weidner first met Glenn more than a dozen years ago while both were serving on the 4th Fest of Greater Racine, Inc. Board of Directors.
“I always considered Carrie the very lifeblood of that 4th Fest board,” she said. “Carrie was passionate about everything she did, but she was especially passionate about her service to the 4th Fest board and to the Racine Fourth of July parade and celebration.”
Mark Chaffee, president of the 4th Fest of Great Racine, remembered Glenn on Thursday as “a dear friend and a cherished member of our board for over 15 years.
“She gave countless hours of dedication to the planning of the Racine parade,” Chaffee said. “Her input, guidance, and leadership on the parade committee were invaluable. 4th Fest of Greater Racine and the Racine community owe her a debt of gratitude for her tireless passion of making Racine’s 4th Fest Parade the biggest and best in the Midwest. Carrie will be dearly missed.”
Weidner fondly recalls Glenn’s penchant for intuitively bestowing nicknames on her friends and family.
“Carrie has a nickname for everybody that she cared about,” noted Weidner, dubbed “110%” by Glenn. “She a real knack of getting to the heart of who a person was, whether you were two years old or 102. She just could zoom in on who you were and appropriately nickname something.”
Weidner had her own nickname for Glenn.
“I called her ‘The Gazelle’ because Carrie would get involved in everything that she was passionate about and she gave so much of herself to anything she undertook,” Weidner said. “She was passionate about her work on the 4th Fest board and she was very passionate about her work as an elected representative serving the 10th District. Carrie was absolutely fearless and very, very principled and also very open to everyone.”
As a result, Weidner said Glenn often found herself at odds with other Common Council members and the city administration.
“Carrie was very passionate about serving the people and she was not afraid to take on the (city’s) administration if the people’s interests were at odds with what the city administration wanted to do…,” Weidner noted. “She fought like a pit bull, which was her way when she believed in something … Carrie fought voraciously … You cannot replace a Carrie Glenn – as a member of the 4th Fest board, as a member of the Council, but especially as a friend. She was such a loyal, dedicated, committed person to anyone and anything that she cared about. You cannot find that kind of compassion and commitment. She truly believed her role on the Council … was not political, was not partisan. It was service. Always, always service. She was the most generous, open, caring, loving person that I’ve had the privilege of knowing.”
Peterson: ‘She had no problem stating her opposition’
Speaking to The Journal Times Thursday morning, District 6 Alderman Jeffrey Peterson remembered Carrie Glenn for “her passion,” be it her longtime service on the Fourth Fest Committee, the Common Council or her “volunteer work throughout the city.”
Peterson recalls her passion being on full display when running for Racine’s 15-seat Common Council, conducting a grassroots door-to-door campaign on the city’s southeast side.
“She was proud of the fact she didn’t spend more than $100 dollars,” he noted. “All her votes were garnered by door-knockin’ and one-on-one contacts, not through literature or ads. To me, that says a lot about her.”
Charlie Glenn agreed.
“She did a lot of door-knocking and took great pride in that,” he recalled. “She was knocking on the doors of everybody — residents and businesses — to learn what her constituents wanted. It was never about Carrie. It was always about what her people wanted. She was very in touch with the people in her district.”
Once elected, Peterson said Glenn was not afraid to speak her mind as the Common Council’s District 10 representative.
“One of the most important things she brought to the Common Council was an alternative view to different subjects, different topics,” said Peterson. “Quite often on the Common Council you won’t get opposing views from the mayor. She had no problem stating her opposition to something she objected to. I greatly appreciated the fact that she spoke up for herself and spoke up for her residents, regardless of how those at City Hall may have felt … Her voice will definitely be missed on the Council.”
“The Council would prefer you just go along and Carrie wouldn’t do it,” Weidner said. “She stood up for what she believed … Carrie had the courage to do it.”
Perez: ‘The City has lost an admirable servant’
Also among those mourning Glenn’s passing was District 12 Alderman Henry Perez.
“I believe that Alderwoman Glenn cared deeply about the City and its fair treatment to its residents,” Perez told The Journal Times. “I will personally miss her insights and support. She represented her constituents with passion and vehemence. The City has lost an admirable servant.”
As passionate as Glenn was for her public service, Weidner said Carrie’s greatest passion was for her family, including her husband, Charlie, and her two grandsons, Emmet and Ollie.
Glenn retired from her longtime career as a property manager six years ago to take care of her grandchildren while her son and daughter-in-law worked. With the March arrival of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Glenn began home-schooling her grandchildren.
“She took that very seriously,” Weidner said of Glenn, who was known as “GG” (Grandma Glenn) to her grandsons and their young friends. “She had all over Facebook their daily activities … She took her role as grandparent/teacher very seriously for her grandsons. I think, if she wanted to be remembered for anything … it’s how she loved her grandsons and how … she loved her husband and he loved her. That’s huge.”
Noted Charlie Glenn, “To my grandchildren, Carrie was their superhero. She could fix anything, do anything. She could make you smile, she could make you mad. She was just awesome.”
Visitation, funeral plans set
Services for Carrie Glenn will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Wilson Funeral Home, 1212 Lathrop Ave. in Racine, with a visitation from 9-11 a.m. and the funeral immediately following. For more information, visit wilsonfuneralhomeinc.com.