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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Cedar Rapids father, athlete drowns in West Okoboji Lake
Alexander Glover, 21, was “a ball of fire,” his mother said.
A Cedar Rapids man drowned Saturday in West Okoboji Lake despite attempts to rescue him from the chilly waters, according to police and family.
Alexander Glover, 21, was visiting the Spirit Lake area with his girlfriend’s family, said his mother, Sondra Williams. While boating on the lake, he had jumped out of the boat to swim for a while. The boat drifted away and he attempted to swim back, but he got tired and slipped under the water, according to a news release from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office.
The temperature in the lake at the time was 57 degrees, which the National Center for Cold Water Safety classifies as “very dangerous/immediately life-threatening“ for swimmers. The water was about 13 feet deep where Glover went under.
The family tried to throw Glover a rope, but he wasn’t able to reach it. Someone called 911 at 1:26 p.m. to report that Glover was drowning. A kayaker, Charles Anderegg, dove from his kayak and brought Glover to the surface, where members of the family Glover was with started giving him CPR until the Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue Team arrived by boat.
The team transported Glover to shore. He was taken to the Lakes Regional Healthcare Emergency Room, where he died.
“I got the call just before they took off with him on the emergency boat with the paramedics and the EMS. I greatly appreciate all efforts,” Williams said.
“We drove four hours,” up to Spirit Lake. “It was the longest four hours and 22 minutes of my life. The staff was very nice there, they were very caring. Nobody left his side.”
Williams had heard from her son earlier that day when he texted her pictures of his cat, Pluto, who Williams said he brought with him everywhere, including on the trip.
Glover had a 1-year-old daughter, and his girlfriend is pregnant with Glover’s second child. He was also a devoted uncle to his niece. He had recently started working at hth companies, a construction services company, according to Williams.
Glover graduated from Washington High School in 2020, but spent part of his senior year in Waterloo playing football for Waterloo East High School. He was always into sports, playing football, soccer and baseball both at school and in the community, his mom said.
“He grew up in the junior leagues being a quarterback and a leader. In soccer, he was the fast kid that had the wheels and always wore two different shoes. His coaches hated that, but he did what he was supposed to do,” Williams said.
“He lit up the room, because you either heard him talking and laughed with him, or laughed at him. It was one or the other. There was no in-between. … He was a ball of fire.”
Glover had a group of friends, who knew they could count on him when they needed to, his mother said. He was close friends with Andrew Gaston, a teen who was shot and killed in 2020 in Cedar Rapids, and helped and supported his friends as they dealt with the death, Williams said.
“His biggest impact is, he was a friend with unconditional boundaries,” she said. “He found that having friends, and taking friends as they are and valuing them every day, was more important than holding a grudge.”
The family started a GoFundMe hoping to raise $15,000 to help transport Glover home and to pay for a funeral service. As of Monday afternoon, that goal had been met and exceeded by almost $500.
Williams said the community has been incredibly supportive since Glover’s death. She said she woke up to 35 messages this morning on her phone from people expressing their condolences, some of them from people she didn’t even know.
“His impact on our community, and doing what he did as a student-athlete — they did community service — it will never be forgotten,” Williams said.
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