Barb Glasscoe, one of Phantom Regiment’s most beloved and loyal volunteers, died Sunday, May 12. She was 65. She had spent much of her adult life as a Phantom Regiment volunteer and was vital to the tremendous look Phantom Regiment has on the field.

She first volunteered in 1981 after writing a letter to the corps asking if they were looking for volunteer help. Shortly thereafter, she hopped on a bus as the corps traveled to California, not knowing anyone. (More on that later.) Barb started as a member of the kitchen crew before moving to the sewing team in 1983, when her tremendous seamstress skills were discovered. She became the coordinator of the sewing team in 1995. Barb has done thousands of uniform fittings, sewn even more flags, and generally been key to making the corps look incredible every time it steps on the field.

In 2017, Barb was inducted into the Phantom Regiment Hall of Fame. In her nomination letter, volunteer and former marching member Renee Fieldhouse said Barb is “genuine to the core with a life-long dedication to her beloved Phantom Regiment, through which she found her true love, enduring friendships, and a constantly evolving sense of humor! She is truly worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame, where she can join her late husband, Mark, in Phantom Regiment history.”

Peg Ripley, one of Barb’s long-time friends, described Barb’s role well in a supporting letter for her hall of fame nomination:

“She handles, prioritizes, sorts, organizes, and delegates any number of tasks, boxes, orders, mental notes, etc. She creates spreadsheets for various fittings, tracking uniform numbers and uniform elements, sits in discussions of any number of things regarding uniforms (fitting, style, timeframes, do-ability), puts up ‘The Big Paper,’ and keeps the wild and wacky crew focused, while still adapting to the ever-changing demands and expectations of the staff.”

She was also honored in 1995 as Phantom Regiment Volunteer of the Year and again in 2004 with the organization’s Chevron Award for meritorious service.

While Barb may not have known anyone when she got on the bus to California in 1981, she would end up meeting the love of her life, who was seated in front of her on that bus. Mark Glasscoe was a marching member in the 1970s and then a long-time visual instructor, corps director, and board member. She and Mark hit it off on a free day in California, and they married on July 16, 1983.

Mary Keller, who worked closely with Barb for decades on the sewing crew and was one of her closest friends, has many stories of her adventures with Barb. But among the more ironic is because Mark was the director of Phantom Regiment when he and Barb married.

“Mark decided to step down to focus on their marriage,” Mary said. “The only thing was, Barb also loved being with PR and drum corps, so their time away ended up being quite short.”

More than 40 years later, Barb is still involved and has left a volunteer legacy that may never be matched.

Sadly, Mark died in 1996, shortly after Phantom Regiment won its first Drum Corps International World Championship. The annual Mark Glasscoe Memorial Member of the Year award is named in his honor.

“For decades, Barb devoted her time and heart to the Regiment, consistently demonstrating unmatched professionalism and integrity,” said Rick Valenzuela, who worked with her longer than any other Phantom Regiment executive director (2007-2019). “Her unwavering commitment to doing the right thing, both for her phenomenal volunteer sewing crew and for every single corps member, made a profound impact on the Regiment, especially on me personally.

“She embodied the values we aim to instill in the young people we mentor: leadership, dedication, compassion, and the importance of giving back.”

Michael Cesario, a legendary uniform, visual, and program designer who has been involved with Phantom Regiment most years since the early 1980s, relied on Barb and her sewing team to make his designs a reality.

“Barb was that perfect leader – modest and strong – who was the heartbeat of our sewing team,” he said. “Our trademark look of great tailoring and perfect fit was in her hands. Each year, as the corps entered the field, she brought that dream to life. She exemplified Phantom Regiment perfection.”

In her professional life, Barb was an information systems supervisor and project manager for a large health system in Wisconsin. Those organizational skills translated well as a sewing team coordinator. Quite simply, she got things done and did them at a world-class level.

“Rarely does someone like Barb Glasscoe come along, and the Regiment has been extremely fortunate to be able to rely on Barb for so many years,” said Dan Farrell, who worked with her for more than 20 years as program coordinator and marched in the corps with her husband. “Always kind, always organized, and very efficient, Barb kept so many of us on task and always made the performers and the organization look great.”

Services will be held at McCorkle Funeral Home in Rockton, Ill., on June 1. There will be a visitation from noon to 1:50 p.m. prior to the service, which begins at 2 p.m. For those unable to attend, it will be live-streamed and available on demand at www.mccorklefuneralhome.com.