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Thomas Joseph Gleason
May 18, 1943 ~ December 3, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Thomas J. Gleason, 80, of Florence, having valiantly fought a long illness, passed away peacefully at home on December 3rd surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Northampton to Thomas L. and Ruth (Egan) Gleason and was a lifelong resident. He was a graduate of St. Michael’s High School and St. Anselm’s College and proudly served in the United States Army in Vietnam. He held the highest respect and gratitude for all veterans of the U.S. forces. Tom worked for 30 years as a cemetery foreman for the Northampton Dept. of Public Works, retiring in 2003.
Tom’s innate curiosity made him a lifelong learner and his college studies of history and philosophy guided his interests and adventures throughout his life. He loved his travels with wife Kathy, particularly to places with historical and archaeological significance, including Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Rome, and Pompeii. The two also treasured winters in Florida where they relaxed and made many friends. He approached his stewardship of the city’s cemeteries with reverence and enjoyed assisting people researching their own ancestry or local history. He could be found close to home and in far flung places with his metal detector, unearthing old coins and other buried treasures. Tom loved working outdoors. His aesthetic side shone in beautifully designed and maintained flower and vegetable gardens and a collection of contemporary hand-crafted masks that he and Kathy collected together from travels near and far.
Tom leaves his wife and soul mate of 40 years Kathleen (Korza) Gleason of Florence, son Cory Zawadzki and wife Melissa (Williamsburg, MA); and daughter Dawn Gleason, granddaughter Raechel Templin and husband Trevor (Florida), and great grandchildren Allison and Archer (Florida). He also leaves his Korza family: brothers- and sisters-in-law Lynn and Jim Moran, Ron and Kathy Korza, Pam Korza and Bob Cabral, Laurie Korza, and many nieces and nephews. Tom considered himself a true member of this family and was loved deeply by everyone. A born storyteller, he filled family gatherings with laughter, regaling with colorful stories of his lifelong escapades. His wisdom, hands, and heart could be counted on for support in good times and bad. He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Ruth (Pat) Driscoll and Barbara Berwager, and brothers-in-law John Bray and Bob Coven.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Doctors David Serlin, Hanno Muellner, and Paul Jodka for taking exceptional care of Tom over many years. Service and burial at Spring Grove Cemetery will be private.