'I lost an amazing friend': Not One More co-founder Vickie Glatfelter dies at 59

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Vickie Glatfelter holds a sign showing a photo of her son, Bob, taken while he was dying from a heroin overdose in April 2014, while taking part in a rally on Continental Square in York to bring awareness to "Don't run, call 911," Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. 
 John A. Pavoncello - jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com

Vickie Glatfelter and Alyssa Rohrbaugh were often described as being two different feet walking in the same pair of shoes.

Bonded through their shared experiences as the parents of addicted children, the pair turned their pain into action — and founded the York County chapter of Not One More in 2014.

Glatfelter, who lost her son Bob in 2014 from a fentanyl overdose, died Monday after battling breast cancer for nearly two years.

"We talked every day. We texted every day. There wasn't a single day in seven years that we didn't talk," Rohrbaugh said. "We were more than co-founders, we were friends."

In 2014, Rohrbaugh was going through her own battle. 

After finding out her son Tanner was using opioids, Rohrbaugh turned to the York County community for support and attended her first anti-heroin rally. She didn't approach Glatfelter, who was also at the event, until later, when the pair first exchanged messages on Facebook.

By sharing their experiences, the early foundation of Not One More in York County was formed. The nonprofit provides awareness, education and support to individuals who are affected by drug abuse and addiction. 

Not One More York Chapter president and founder Vickie Glatfelter, left, of Dover, shares a moment with her daughter, Kayla Glatfelter, also of Dover, during the r Bob Glatfelter Memorial Walk and Overdose Awareness Vigil  at York College on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016.  Kayla spoke to the crowd about her brother, Bob Glatfelter, who died of a drug overdose two years ago. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"Everything about the organization (Glatfelter) felt was perfect to help families that were struggling," Rohrbaugh said. "So many people out there just adored her. Listening to them was the biggest thing for her and I."

June Hockenberry, a Dauphin County resident formerly from Red Lion, said she sought advice from Glatfelter on how to help her now divorced-spouse with addiction.

"She barely knew me — and she was already dealing with her own stuff — but she still wanted to talk to me," Hockenberry said. "She just did so much not just on an organization level, but individually."

Hockenberry, a recovering heroin addict herself, said she admired Glatfelter for believing in the recovery process.

"The thing about Vickie is she always saw addicts as people, not just this stereotype," Hockenberry said. "She believes that addicts are worth saving."

The York County chapter of Not One More keeps a supply of Narcan kits available for free to the public.

Narcan is a medicine that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, according to the Not One More York website.

Individuals can request a kit by calling 717-850-6350 or 717-424-8890. Individuals can also email notonemoreyorkpa@gmail.com.

"That's what she fought for, was giving addicts a second chance," Hockenberry said. "We need more Vickies in the world."

Up until her death, Glatfelter was first and foremost focused on the community and her organization. Less than a week before her death, for example, Glatfelter was printing out thank you notes and preparing to mail cards for donors, Rohrbaugh said.

Despite her struggles, Glatfelter told Rohrbaugh she wanted to finish her task without help.

"I sat there and watched her struggle with it," Rohrbaugh said. "Up until that point, she was nonstop. She was amazing."

Glatfelter's son, Bob Glatfelter, died in 2014 at 28 of a fentanyl overdose. He was living in a recovery home at the time. 

The Glatfelter family's problems began earlier but were made worse by Bob's drug addiction, Vickie Glatfelter said in 2015.

Glatfelter, a York County employee for 27 years, pleaded guilty in 2011 to the theft of more than $347,000 in public money, which she took over a period of seven years as assistant chief clerk by embezzling postage returns.

She said she used much of the money helping her son — providing him money for shelter, a car and her grandson's medical treatments.

While Rohrbaugh mourns the loss of her friend, she said she's comforted by the outpouring of support and love from people who knew Glatfelter.

"I lost an amazing friend, but I know we will go on because that's what she would want us to do," Rohrbaugh  said. "But I will hurt doing it without her."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.