Patricia Irish Gleason

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Patricia Irish Gleason, of Tryon, died on Nov. 27, 2013 in Tryon at the age of 90.

Patricia Gleason

Patricia Gleason

Born in Lewistown, Mont., on Jan. 24, 1923 to Perry J. Irish and Patience (Eldridge) Irish, the fourth of five children, she was raised in Los Angeles and Kirkland, Wash.

An adventurous spirit throughout her life, she bicycled from Seattle to Los Angeles in 1943 with her college friend Connie – an almost unheard-of vacation for girls at that time.

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Gleason dropped out of the University of Washington to work for The Associated Press in New York City in 1945, where she met a reporter, Eugene F. Gleason, whom she married on June 21, 1946.

The family moved to Westbury, on Long Island, N.Y. in 1950. After having four children, she returned to work as a library assistant while earning B.S. and M.L.S. degrees from Hofstra University, then served for 15 years as a research librarian for Westbury Public Library. She and Gene retired to Tryon in 1980, where she created a spectacular acre-plus ornamental and vegetable garden and maintained it beautifully for 25 years.

Gleason was blessed with exceptional energy, boundless curiosity, stellar intellect, strength of character and a positive attitude.

A natural leader and teacher, she inspired her children, grandchildren, in-laws and friends. Her family was her main passion, but gardening and travel were not far behind.

She and Gene traveled extensively in Europe after becoming empty-nesters, and she added many more destinations and continents with family and Elderhostel groups after Gene died in 1987.

Despite being physically limited late in life by failing eyesight and COPD, her active mind and spirit never wavered. A passionate New Deal Democrat, she endowed her children with a similar outlook, and Jane Austen never had a more faithful champion.

She is survived by three children – Mark and his wife Winnie of Ames, Iowa; Ann of Tryon; and Peggy and her husband Warren Gorlick of Washington – as well as her daughter-in-law Sue Colbert Gleason and five grandchildren: Laura and David Gleason, Kate Gleason and Anna and Emily Gorlick. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Gene; brothers, Perry and David (Red), sisters, Lois and Jean and son, Paul.

Her spirit continues to light the way for her surviving family members.

Condolences may be left at Petty Funeral Home & Crematory