George W. “Bill” Gleeson, 88, of Portsmouth, died Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at Grand Islander Health Care Center in Middletown surrounded by his family. He was the husband of the late B. Eileen Gleeson.
Born in Portsmouth on Feb. 22, 1925, he was the son of the late John and Katherine (Smith) Gleeson.
Bill graduated from De La Salle Academy in Newport, began working on local Portsmouth farms, often driving the farm trucks to Boston with produce. He entered the U.S. Army in 1944 and landed in France. Serving in the Medical Corps, his service brought him into Belgium and Germany. He was then transferred to the Pacific Theater and served in the Japanese Occupational Forces. After WWII, he worked for the First National Stores in Portsmouth. In 1979 he began his second career as the owner of Gleeson’s Package Store until 2011.
Bill was a former member of the Portsmouth Lions Club, the Alvaro Vieira VFW and the Portsmouth Town Council and the Portsmouth Water Board.
In his free time, he enjoyed tending to his vegetable garden and clamming the local beaches. He and his wife Eileen enjoyed winters in Florida, and 62 years of marriage, until her death in April.
Bill was often spotted in town on drives with his favorite terriers, Sam and Buddy.
He is survived by his children, Cheryle Minyo and her husband John of Portsmouth, Priscilla Lipe and her husband James of Tiverton and William Gleeson and his wife Wendy of Portsmouth; nine grandchildren’ seven great grandchildren’ a sister, Dorothy Walker of Peterborough, N.H.; and many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by five brothers, Tom, Stephen, James, John, and Joseph Gleeson; and two sisters; Mae Garrahy and Kate Golden.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 4-7 p.m. in Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth.
His funeral will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 9 a.m. from Connors Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church, 2836 East Main Road, Portsmouth. Burial with military honors will be in Portsmouth Cemetery, Turnpike Avenue.
Donations in his memory may be made to VNS of Newport and Bristol Counties, 1184 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871 or to the Portsmouth Fire and Rescue Wagon Fund, 2300 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871.
Additional information available at www.memorialfuneralhome.com