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We are sorry to report the passing of long-time Chicago Maritime Museum volunteer, curator and operations board member Don Glasell on Monday at age 94.
Don started with the Chicago Maritime Society in 2008 when the facility was located at Racine and Jackson. In exchange for space to run his Captain’s Emporium sailing trophy business, Don managed the museum’s office, back when visitors came by appointment only. Don was instrumental in the museum’s 2016 move to the Bridgeport Art Center, where he managed the books and eventually became full-time curator.
“Our thoughts are with Don's wife Marge, his family and friends today,” says CMM vice chairman Jerry Thomas. “Don's maritime expertise was a huge asset to the museum and to the public. He enjoyed sharing the history of Chicago's waterways and was well-versed in CMM’s collections. Don was also a key player on the Operations Committee where his expertise on our exhibits and artifacts was invaluable."
Long before joining the Chicago Maritime Museum, Don was already a fixture in the Chicago sailing community. As an “Island Goat Master Mariner,” he sailed in 55 Chicago Mackinac races over the years. He also served on numerous sailboat racing protest committees and provided sailing trophies. Don has helped make sailing more accessible to inner-city kids and the disabled as a sailing instructor with the Chicago Yacht Club and the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation.
After military service in Korea, Don was a local television producer before heading up the AV department for Montgomery Ward.
Services are pending.