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Colleen M. (Clark) Gleason, 91, of La Crosse died Saturday, July 23, 2016, at Franciscan-Skemp-Mayo Hospital after a short illness.
Colleen was born in La Crosse on January 29, 1925, to Guy and Mildred Clark. She graduated from St. James Grade School and Aquinas High School, class of 1942. After graduation she worked as a secretary while she waited for her sweetheart, George Gleason, to return from service during WWII. They announced their engagement 2 days after his return and were married the following year on July 4, 1946. They lived in La Crosse their entire lives except for 3 years in Milwaukee while George attended college. Upon returning to La Crosse, George opened his own CPA practice and Colleen worked beside him until his death.
Colleen was a warm, generous, strong woman who was kind to everyone she met. Family, faith, and music were lifelong joys for her. She spent countless hours with her grandchildren. Whenever one was sick Grandma Colleen would happily drop everything to care for them. She loved attending their games, concerts, dances, birthday parties, events of any kind, and rarely missed anything.
She played guitar and piano, but violin was her favorite; she performed in the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra for many years. Later she played with the Sweet Notes, a group of volunteer musicians who play at nursing homes throughout the region.
Colleen was a loyal member of the Blessed Sacrament parish for many decades, regularly attending mass and praying the rosary daily. She sang in the church choir, delivered Mobile Meals, and volunteered in many ways in the community.
Colleen is survived by her children George Jr., La Crosse; Paul (Gaye Tylka), Onalaska; and Mary (Scott Miller), Sparta; grandchildren Joseph Gleason, La Crosse; Benjamin Gleason, Durango, CO; Ann (Fletcher) Smith, Edmond, OK; Adam Phillips (Kati Bartle), Onalaska; Emma (Andy) Fort, Rollingstone, MN; Jesse Knutson, Onalaska; Eva Gleason (Austin Beirne), La Crosse; and Eli Gleason, Spring Grove, MN; great-grandchildren Madison and Brooklyn Phillips, and Aiden and Garrett Fort; sister, Kathryn Brennan, Green Bay; brother-in-law, Jack Gleason, Onalaska; and many other relatives and friends.
Colleen was preceded in death by her parents; husband, George B. Gleason, Sr. in 1994; son, Gary Gleason, in 1995; daughter, Margaret (Gleason) Phillips, in 1997; and son, Jay Gleason, in 2014. She was also preceded in death by brother-in-law Bill (Kathryn) Brennan; sister-in-law Dorothy (Jack) Gleason; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Jeanne and Bud Olson.
A funeral Mass will be held Friday, July 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 130 Losey Blvd. Rev Pete Raj will officiate, with burial to be held in Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Friends and Family may call from 4 to 7:00 PM, Thursday July 28, 2016, at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. South, La Crosse. Friends and Family may also call from 9:30 AM until the time of Mass at Church on Friday.
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