Glawe would be honored if bill passes
By Barbie Porter
he Vergas Post Office may have a new name honoring the late Jon Glawe, a Vergas resident who was known for delivering more than the mail. ¶ Jon never intended to be a legend. Those with high moral fiber that carry themselves with a humble dignity, tend to prefer the spotlight land on their neighbor. But, some legends are so well known, that it is inevitable they end up center stage. ¶ Jon’s kindhearted gestures on the rural postal route he drove for 36 years made him very well known. He became the man who could be counted on to help when needed, and to go out of his way to do a kind deed when he wasn’t asked.
Jon’s daughter, Nicole Hoplin, explained her father would often stop at the stores along his 100-mile route so he could shop for the home bound (and those who just didn’t want to go out).
He would also go above and beyond without being asked. If a package couldn’t be secured in the hands of its owner during Jon’s regular route, he made a special trip later that night.
When Nicole learned post office buildings can be named in honor of someone, she thought the dedication would be a great way to honor her father, as well as, surprise her mother, Darla, and brothers Brett and Kraig.
Changing the name of a post office takes an act of Congress, so it is not an easy task. Nicole lives in Washington D.C. with her husband Eric, who has connections to the political world. One important connection belonged to Vergas-area representative, Michelle Fischbach (R).
Eric shared his wife’s idea of honoring Jon’s legacy, as well as stories he’d heard about his father-in-law with the representative. The dignitary was touched by the stories and indicated support. However, homework still had to be done before a bill could be drafted and introduced.
“A team came to town and talked to folks in Vergas,” Eric said. “They were checking to see if all they heard about Jon was true—if he was the local hero his family said he was. Everyone they met who knew Jon, agreed, he was all those things they said.”
When the man matched up with the legend, bill (H.R.5952) was written in November. Eric noted the local representative then spoke with congressional members from Minnesota, and got them all on board to co-sponsor the bill.
“Before the name of the post office can change, the bill would have to be passed by the House of Representatives, then the Senate and then it would need to be signed by the President,” Eric explained.
When Darla met Jon,
a new life began
Darla met Jon while attending Perham High School. The two members of the Class of 1967 began dating their senior year, and Darla knew Jon was her forever.
She never wavered or considered leaving his side as Jon attended college in California, where he earned his associates degree, before returning to the Northern states.
“A few years later he was drafted into the Army (to serve in Vietnam),” Darla said.
When he returned stateside in 1969, Jon immediately headed to his home state.
“He worked for a post office in Minneapolis, and I was teaching in Pelican Rapids at that time. We were still dating,” said Darla.
The two decided to wed in 1973 and made their home on a rural Vergas farm. When Jon’s dad passed away in 1982, he took over his father’s rural post office route.
During the years delivering mail on the rural Vergas route (until he retired in 2011), Jon owned many cars.
“I’m not sure how many cars we went through,” Darla said. “But toward the end he had the same two for quite awhile.”
His daughter noted the two vehicles at the end of his postal career were his favorite because they had driving columns and pedals on the right side (or passenger side) of the vehicle.
There were years her dad made due by sitting in the middle of a car while trying to steer, use the gas and brake on the left side, while accessing the mail boxes through the passenger side window.
Jon also co-ran a farm with his brother Glen Glawe. He’d rise at the crack of dawn to milk cows before heading out on his mail route, only to return just before dinner.
Either through his mail route, farm, storied history on the YellowJacket wrestling team or from being a longtime Vergas resident, it was likely when out with Jon there would be many unexpected conversations had.
“Anywhere I went with dad, it seemed like everyone knew him,” Nicole recalled. “He also had the kind of personality who made friends where ever he went.”
For a man who believed in hard work and being a gift to his community, Jon didn’t skimp on his duties with family. While there were many moments that painted a picture of who Jon was as a husband and father, one story seemed to capture his essence.
“Every fall he would put a bunch of hay bales on the back of a wagon,” Nicole said, noting the next thing on the to-do list was to invite family—cousins, aunts, uncles and anyone connected to the Glawe family tree even by a thin twig. “We’d go for hay rides, gather around a bonfire, eat S’mores and just enjoy family and being able to be together. “
He also provided his wife and children with personal moments that belong only to them.
“Usually when camping,” Darla said.
Nicole laughed and added, “Once a year we went away for a weekend; just a special get away to go somewhere and have fun together.”
Eric, who married into the family, said he also saw an interesting attribute that is a tribute to Jon.
“Look at his three children and you’ll see they are tireless workers,” he said. “Brett is a surgeon who is always on call, it seems, and leaves what he is doing to help someone in need. Kraig works for Zitzow Electric and is on the Vergas Rescue Squad. He just helped save a life the other day. Nicole, she owns her own business and also goes the extra mile to help others.”
Jon was 66 when his life was cut short and he passed away peacefully in his home. He is the son of Dale and Vernice Glawe of Detroit Lakes