Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, is the youngest of Terry and Sherri Glezman’s three sons.
The Glezmans raised their boys in Traverse City, a small town of about 15,000 people located in northern Michigan. Chasten had a strained relationship with his parents in the months after he first revealed to them that he was gay, during the summer after he graduated from high school. But they have long since mended that bridge and Terry & Sherri walked Chasten down the aisle at his wedding.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Terry Glezman & Sherri Run a Landscaping Business & Sell Christmas Decorations
Terry Glezman is the owner of his own business, Outdoor Dynamics Landscaping, in Traverse City. According to Michigan Secretary of State online records, the business was first registered as a domestic limited liability company in 2003.
Pete Buttigieg explained in his book Shortest Way Home that Outdoor Dynamics keeps the couple busy year-round. Wintertime means a lot of snow removal for Terry, but it’s also their most fun time of year because it means selling Christmas decorations. Buttigieg wrote that “in a peak year, Terry and Sherri sell over a thousand wreaths and eighty thousand feet of garland after making it in the garage at their house or in their pole barn nearby.”
Sherri supplements their income by assisting other businesses with their financial accounts. Chasten told the Washington Post that his mother also worked as a nursing assistant during his childhood.
2. Terry Glezman Grew Up Poor & Having Jif Peanut Butter Available in the Cupboard Was a Symbol of Success For the Family
Terry Glezman grew up understanding what it is like to struggle. He lived out of a car for a substantial portion of his childhood. He also tried to hide the fact that his clothes weren’t washed on a regular basis by always wearing his letterman jacket as a high school student, according to the Washington Post.
That childhood served as a strong motivation for Glezman to achieve success as an adult. One symbol of success for Glezman was the ability to stock his pantry with Jif peanut butter. Pete Buttigieg explained in his memoir, “For Terry, Jif had once been a luxury; having it on hand in the cupboard was the measure of a decent lifestyle. Terry would repeatedly promise to his three boys that no matter what, he would see to it that they would have Jif on the shelves.”
To honor his father, Chasten Glezman Buttigieg has a tattoo of the Jif logo on his left tricep.
3. Sherri Pelon & Terry Glezman Got Married Young & Had Three Sons in Their Early 20s
Terry Glezman and Sherri Pelon Glezman tied the knot on May 7, 1983, according to his Facebook page. Sherri was 18 and Terry was 19 years old at the time.
Shortly after celebrating their first wedding anniversary, the Glezmans welcomed their first son, Rhyan Edward Glezman. He was born on July 13, 1984. Rhyan is a now the senior pastor at the Christian Community Church of God in Clio, Michigan. He attended Rochester College and also studied the Bible at Mid-America Christian University. Rhyan is a married father.
Middle child Dustin Mckenzie Glezman arrived on April 10, 1987. Like his father, Dustin also owns a landscaping business called Task Force Lawn Care. He served in the U.S. Army and studied to become a police officer. He is also married.
Chasten was born on June 23, 1989.
4. Sherri Glezman Left a Note for Pete Buttigieg On Their Wedding Day Reminding Him That Chasten Would Always Be Her Baby
Chasten Glezman Buttigieg appears to have a close relationship with his mother. Sherri Glezman was the one to pick up the phone and urge him to come back home a few months after he had revealed that he was gay (more on that below).
On Pete and Chasten’s wedding day, Sherri left a note for Pete in his room. He shared in his autobiography that the note read in part, “Take care of my baby, he may be on a permanent loan to you but he will always be mine.”
On Mother’s Day in 2017, Chasten shared a photo of him and his mom from when he was a younng child. Sherri wrote in the comments, “It’s crazy to me how fast the time has gone. Miss my baby boy but I sure do enjoy the man he is now.”
Sherri is currently battling skin cancer. She talked about undergoing chemotherapy in a Facebook post from April of 2019 and urged people to “remember your sunblock.” Her son-in-law wrote in his memoir that Chasten got a tattoo to honor his mother after she first received her diagnosis. It is a black infinity symbol on his right calf.
5. Terry & Sherri Glezman Walked Chasten Down the Aisle on His Wedding Day & Terry Saved the Reception
Terry and Sherri Glezman struggled at first to accept that their youngest son, Chasten, was attracted to men. He came out to them during the summer after he graduated high school. Shortly after, Chasten left the house due to the friction. He slept at friend’s houses and out of his car while attending community college. A few months later, Chasten’s parents came around. He told the Washington Post that he cried the day that his mother called and asked him to come home.
Much has changed since that time. Pete Buttigieg wrote in the Shortest Way Home that he felt instantly welcomed the first time he went with Chasten to Traverse City to meet Terry and Sherri. Buttigieg added that he informed the Glezman’s before proposing to Chasten.
Chasten and Pete got married on June 16, 2018 and had a beautiful ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint James Episcopal church in downtown South Bend, Indiana. But the day before they said “I do,” the reception seemed to be in jeopardy. They had chosen to have the reception at LangLab, a former factory that was being renovated into office and mixed-use art space. The space was large enough to fit their wedding needs.
However, the parking lot had a major problem: the ground was not level. Terry Glezman took it upon himself to fix it on the eve of the wedding. Buttigieg explained in his memoir that Terry “somehow procured a wheelbarrow and a load of gravel, press-ganged a couple relatives into helping, and spent that Friday personally leveling it so it would be ready by the time of our reception, while Sherri hauled in boxes of wine from Traverse City and wrapped gifts for members of the wedding party.”
Chasten praised his parents in a social media post on April 7, 2019. He shared a photo of him and his mother dancing on his wedding day and wrote, “Just FYI: My parents walked me down the aisle. My dad leveled the parking lot of our reception venue with his own two hands. My mom and I danced and shared ice cream long into the night. My parents are amazing and Peter’s biggest fans. I’m so proud of them. #itgetsbetter.”