Richard S. Glasser

by | Mar 22, 2019 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Richard Steven Glasser, 77, died March 14, 2019.

Universally described as a kind and generous gentleman, he was that and much more to many. Richard excelled as a student, graduating from Norfolk Academy (1959); University of Virginia (1962), where he was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa key and membership in the Raven Society, graduating in three years; and the University of Virginia School of Law (1965). He played key leadership roles at each of these institutions later in his life.

Richard entered the practice of law with Glasser and Glasser in Norfolk along with his father, Bernard, and his older brother, Stuart. Together, they built a successful law practice. In the mid-1970’s, when the scourge of asbestos related illnesses and deaths took a heavy toll on the citizens of Hampton Roads, Richard’s practice turned to advocating for those with asbestos related illnesses and he became a pioneer in this field. He filed the very first asbestos product liability lawsuit in July 1976, and for the next 40 years he was a pioneer and leader of this litigation. Richard represented thousands of victims of asbestos induced diseases with kindness, faithfulness and success, and was uniformly admired by the bench and bar. In recognition of his work on behalf of victims, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association awarded Richard its Courageous Advocacy Award. He remained actively involved with his practice until his death, practicing law for nearly 54 years. Richard mentored the attorneys and staff at Glasser and Glasser and was a role model to countless other lawyers. His mantra was always: “Do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason.”

Family was of paramount importance to Richard and he will be forever missed by his beloved wife, Martha; his daughter, Hara Brooke Glasser-Frei and her husband, Stephen Frei; his grandchildren, Gabrielle, Andrea Rose, Asher, and Elan; his brother, Stuart D. Glasser (Sarah); his sister, Jane Susan Glasser Frank (Joe); his brother, Michael A. Glasser (Lori); and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in the large Glasser and Levinson families.

Richard was predeceased by his parents, Bernard and Rose Frances Glasser, as well as his beloved daughter Jessica, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident at age 22.

Richard touched many lives with his kindness, love, tenacity, and generosity. He was passionately involved with myriad organizations supporting education, medical care, the arts, Jewish philanthropies, and the legal profession in our community and beyond. Among his many contributions was serving as president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Foundation. He left his family with the greatest gift of all, a sterling good name.

A burial service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The funeral service followed at Ohef Sholom Temple. Memorial contributions in Richard’s memory may be made to Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy, 1585 Wesleyan Dr., Norfolk, VA 23502; EVMS, P.O. Box 1980, Norfolk, VA 23501; United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, 5000 Corporate Woods Dr., Suite 200, Virginia Beach, VA 23462, or a charity of the donor’s choice. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made to the family through