“Bennie” Gleason, 85, died Sunday, May 28, 2006, at Walnut Grove Living Center in McAlester.

A celebration of her life will be held at the First Baptist Church on Washington Avenue on Monday. This will be a potluck beginning at 5:30 p.m. Contact Neva Green at 423-4093 or Martha Walrath at 426-5372 if you plan to attend.

She will be cremated at Bishop Funeral Home. Local arrangements are under the direction of Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.

She was born in Cheyenne, Wyo. She took a train to San Francisco during World War II and married and raised four children with Robert E. Gleason in San Francisco. She had been widowed for 32 years and retired to McAlester in 1997, after working for many years as the assistant to the archivist at the Nestle Beverage Corporation (formerly Hills Bros. Coffee). She had also previously retired from Bechtel Corporation.

Active in many organizations and always interested in contributing to McAlester, she volunteered as a reader with the local schools, with the McAlester Regional Literary Council, Hospice of McAlester, and the Pittsburg County Genealogical and Historical Society, where she served on the board. She also worked at the Social Security Administration office on East Carl Albert until she was 83 years old.

She had a passion for collecting. She particularly enjoyed collecting ladybugs, Asian antiques and anything to do with California quail.

Survivors include her four children, Robin and Shirley Gleason, of McAlester, Molly Gleason, San Francisco, Timi Gleason, San Diego, and Terence Gleason, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Five grandchildren, Destry James Gleason, of McAlester, and Kristin Hansen, Kevin Tumminia, Darius and Zina Gleason, all in California; two brothers, Frank Bennett, Wheat Ridge, Colo., and Paul Bennett, Black Hawk, Colo., and numerous special friends in McAlester.

Donations may be made to McAlester Hospice in her name.

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