Arthur Melvin Gleason
February 24, 1942 – January 3, 2021
Arthur Melvin Gleason was born February 24, 1942 in Milton-Freewater. Art passed away on January 3, 2021 at the age of 78 due to stomach cancer – stage 4 – that was rapidly spreading to other organs in his body. The love and memory of Art, will never pass away. The following is a brief rerun of Art’s life written by his wife, Karan…
On February 24th in the year 1942, a curly-haired, brown-eyed, 13 lb. little guy was born in the house where his family lived in Milton-Freewater, OR. This baby boy was #8 in the Gleason sibling lineup of Flora & Samuel Gleason who persevered to have a total of 9 children. Since Flora already had 7 children, she was running out of names. She asked her dear friend, Mrs. Ricker, who helped with the new baby, if she had any suggestions. “Arthur Melvin,” she piped up, “would be a good solid name after my husband who died in a logging accident.” So, “Artie” he became!
Art was born to a roving family that moved a great deal working in the seasonal crop fields in Oregon. At a young age, Art worked the hop fields and in the bean fields. Between the ages of 6 to 14 his family lived on small acreage farms where they could raise chickens, dairy cows and have a garden. During the summer, Art would pick berries and beans. His dearly beloved pets were Rosie, the pig, and Nanny, the nanny goat. Art loved playing with his 4 brothers and they all enjoyed getting into mischief! At the age of 9 years, Art committed his life to Jesus Christ. His spiritual life was very important to him and he relied immensely on the leading of God throughout his life whether it was to the Gleason family, his air force days, to the woman he married, or his own family of two daughters. He made certain that each grandchild was shown how to live for the Savior and he and Karan prayed daily for each of their eight grandchildren. Art was also an inspiration to his friends, neighbors, church and relatives. He had a heart for helping others. He was dearly loved by his nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters. He was an example of a caring person to all he came in contact with.
After graduating from Eagle Rock High School in CA in 1960, Art entered the U.S. Air Force on October 10th for 4 years working as a hydraulic specialist on B-52 bombers & KC-135 refueling tankers. He was stationed at Mather AFB in Sacramento, CA. Art received his honorable discharge in October, 1964. The Air Force was an important era in Art’s life and he lived the memories of those days throughout his life. While stationed at Mather AFB, Art bought his first car, a blue 1956 Oldsmobile, so he could run around chasing girls and getting to church! After the Air Force, Art worked at Eagle Rock Lumber in Eagle Rock, CA.
In 1966, Art’s sister, Ruth, & her husband, Dick, were singing with a newly formed ensemble group at their church and had need for a tenor. They invited Art to attend the church and look into joining the music group. At the exact same time, Karan’s aunt and uncle were attending the same church and asked if Karan would like to visit their church. It was a small church of friendly people and they had need for a soprano in their ensemble group which sang on the radio each week. They enjoyed singing, joined the ensemble and thus two harmonious lovers found each other in an enormous sea of people in Los Angeles! This was God’s destiny for Art & Karan. And Art also knew this was his answered prayer for a lifelong roommate! The two continued to sing duets and served God by teaching Sunday School as well as serving in various ministries.
Art and Karan first met in 1966, at the age of 24. Their first date was on Thanksgiving in November when Art invited Karan to his huge family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Art proposed to Karan on January 21st, just 11 weeks after they first met. They were married June 24th, 1967 in Torrance, CA. Art & Karan used a unique inspiring slogan for their life together and Art had it engraved on Karan’s wedding band. It read “each for the other and both for the Lord.”
On June 24th, 1967 Art & Karan (Nystedt) were married. Then two years later they moved to Clackamas, Oregon gave birth to two daughters, Shari Ellen of Clackamas (born 1970) & Shelly Renee of Portland (born 1972). Shari blessed them with five grandchildren…Austin (26), Ellen (25), Danette (23), Karleen (20) and Elise (18); and Shelley blessed them with three more grandchildren…Jacob (23), Luke (20) and Sadie (12)! What a joy & a blessing to have eight delightful grandkids (5 girls and 3 boys)!
After moving to Oregon, Art and his oldest brother, Gordon, went into business together. They invented, designed and manufactured Gleason Equipment for the Horticulture Nursery Industry. Their equipment pioneered mechanization in the nursery industry worldwide. They worked out of a shop in Clackamas, OR behind Gordon’s house & eventually employed 35 people.
Then in 1992, Art started his own business by implementing a service dept. along with maintenance and supplying repair parts for the Gleason Equipment previously built. In addition, he would buy, recondition and resell used Gleason Equipment through his own business called, Gleason Equipment Service & Repair. Art liquidated his business in 2007 and entered into a life of retirement.
Art and Karan enjoyed their retirement years together, traveling in their 5th wheel RV and interacting with their 8 grandchildren. During the 53 years of marriage, they were able to live a pretty active life, traveling throughout all 50 states and four provinces of Canada, in addition to enjoying three cruises. Life was good for them and Art continued to thank God for all his blessings. Throughout Art’s life his dream has come true…being in the presence of God, although we all know how he wanted to experience the “Rapture”!
Art was a loving and adoring husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He spoiled his wife; he brought up their girls with Christian love and training; and he spoiled the grandkids. Baby Sadie had grandpa wrapped around her tiny finger & he just adored her! Art was an example of a godly man to everyone he came in contact with. He was a man of integrity and cared about others. He was always eager to help others. Art was an influence on many lives. He will be missed, but in our hearts forever!
Please feel free to peruse through the 73 photos on this website of the 78 years of his life. These same pictures were shown at his memorial service.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.” Psalm 116:15
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Arthur Melvin Gleason
January 17, 2021
Uncle Art is going to be missed. To so many of us, his nieces and nephews, he was a source of encouragement, wisdom, generosity, laughter, and love. For me, he was, along with my dad, one of the most influential men in my life, and he will never be forgotten.
Good bye for now, Uncle Art, but we'll be seeing you soon!
January 14, 2021