Obituary – Don Oliver Gleason, Sr.

Published 11:38 am Thursday, December 12, 2019

Don Oliver Gleason, Sr. of Oxford passed away at the age of 77 on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. Born in Greenwood, Miss., he was the son of John H. and Betty Caperton (Eastland) Gleason of Doddsville, in Sunflower County.


Don Gleason grew up in Doddsville, working with his father on the family farm land and playing sports. He graduated from Ruleville High School and played football for Millsaps College before finishing his B.A. at the University of Mississippi. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Secret Service on presidential protection detail. Later, he returned to the University of the Mississippi School of Law to complete his J.D. degree. He practiced law in Greenville, Miss., and later in Ocala, Fla. In Washington County, Miss., he served as a City Judge and was elected to the position of County Prosecutor. After retirement, he returned to Oxford to be closer to his children and grandchildren. Never one to sit still, he then earned his real estate license and enjoyed working with the Tommy Morgan Inc., Realtors in Oxford.

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In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Mr. Gleason was also an avid reader, a lover of golf and tennis, a lifelong Ole Miss football fan, a pilot, a world-class children’s storyteller, and a great friend to many. Mr. Gleason was affiliated with Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service, Mayflower Society, Mississippi Bar Association, Mississippi Association of Realtors, the Dick Boyd Book Club, the Senior Men’s Golf Association in Oxford, and the Ruleville luncheon reunion group. He was married to Claudia (Lynn) Gleason in 1968, and the couple had four children. Mr. Gleason’s family was his foremost joy in life.


He is survived by his wife, his two daughters, Patricia Gleason Barrios and Anne Gleason Pitts, both of Oxford, and his son, Jon Hunter Gleason (Liz), of Ocean Springs. He was a devoted Papa to his grandchildren, Emory Caperton Barrios, of Oxford, and Kalin Hunter, Jon Oliver, and Madison Elizabeth Gleason, of Ocean Springs. He happily anticipated the arrival of his fifth grandchild in the spring of the coming year. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Bettye Bradley Gleason, of Clinton, as well as a host of beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Don Oliver (Skip) Gleason, Jr.; by two sons-in-law, Billy A. Barrios and James E. Pitts; his parents; his sister, Bettye Faye Gleason Williams; and his brother, John (Jack) Eastland Gleason.


A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church in Oxford. 


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to one of the philanthropies important in Mr. Gleason’s life: The Skip Gleason Memorial Fund at The University of Mississippi Foundation, the St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, The American Cancer Society, or a charity of choice.