A corrections supervisor who helped thousands of inmates become productive citizens died after her parked car ended up on top of her.
Barbara Gillan Glaser, 61, was the longest-serving employee of the Douglas County Jail.
“You don’t think of jail as a happy place, but where Barb was it would be a happy place,” said Michael Myers, the county’s community corrections manager and Glaser’s boss.
According to the Mills County Sheriff’s Office:
Glaser got her Mini Cooper stuck in the snow Thursday in her driveway in rural northwest Mills County.
She put the car in park, shut it off and got out. But the steep incline of the driveway caused the vehicle to slide, knocking Glaser to the ground.
Then the car hit an embankment, causing it to roll over onto Glaser. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“You couldn’t set that up and have the same outcome again, I don’t think,” said Mills County Sheriff Eugene Goos.
“She didn’t do a darn thing wrong.”
Glaser, who joined Douglas County in the 1970s, had been the corrections programs administrator since 1989.
Her job meant she ensured inmates got the services they needed, from GED classes and drug rehabilitation to basketballs for recreation.
“She impacted thousands,” Myers said.
He described Glaser as a person of boundless optimism.
“Barb was here 36 years and no one can recall her having a bad day,” he said. “Even if she wasn’t happy with something, she was somehow able to portray it in a manner that was positive and constructive.”
Myers recalled a crack-addicted prostitute whom Glaser worked with countless times, getting her the treatment she needed each time she was jailed.
“This particular woman got it turned around and is now living a productive life. There is a picture of her up on Barb’s wall, actually.”
Said Mark Foxall, director of Douglas County Corrections: “She recognized the capacity in most people to overcome their past transgressions and recognized their capacity to change.”
Barb Glazeski, 61, the education specialist at the jail, described Glaser as a supportive boss.
“If I wanted to start a book club ... she would make sure I had the books I needed,” she said. “It was never ‘We don’t have time to fit that in right now.’ ”
Glazeski said she and Glaser having the same first name presented a problem: Whenever she heard someone say “Barb,” she had to figure out whether they were talking to her or her boss.
“When I go back to work, I won’t have to think twice if it’s me,” she said. “I can’t ever imagine how they could ever put somebody in her position to do what she did.”
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