Although he served the law of Missouri, his state’s law never recognized his status as a gay man involved in a long partnership. And so when State Highway Patrol Trooper Cpl. Dennis Engelhard died in the line of duty on Christmas Day, no death benefits were assigned to his partner, Kelly Glossip.
Engelhard and Glossip were longtime fixtures, often serving as acolytes, at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. When Cathedral Provost Michael D. Kinman heard that the state would not be helping with death benefits, the cathedral created the Dennis Englehard Memorial Fund (The Dennis Engelhard Memorial Fund, c/o Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust St, Saint Louis, MO 63101). At Englehard’s funeral, Kinman told those assembled:
Even if we have a state that’s not going to acknowledge a love and acknowledge a relationship, we’re gonna do that – and part of how we do that is by writing those checks.
Glossip told a local TV station that
… he and Engelhard were together for nearly 15 years. He says he’s being ignored when it comes to the agencies that normally reach out to the families of fallen law enforcement officers.
“He was my true love and he always referred to me as his one and only true love and the man of his dreams,” Glossip said. “We were hopelessly in love with each other.”
St. Louis-based Backstoppers, a charity that helps with expenses incurred by families of slain public service men and women, cut an immediate check for $5,000 to Englehard’s parents, but not to Glossip.