|Birth: ||Apr. 29, 1921|
|Death: ||Dec. 7, 2012|
New Mexico, USA
Beal Gleason, 91, of Lovington, was born April 29, 1921 in Plainfield, Iowa and died at the Lovington Good Samaritan Center, while in rehabilitation following a serious neck fracture.
Beal witnessed extraordinary changes during his life. His childhood homes were lit with kerosene lights and heated with a fireplace (leaving many rooms ice cold). "bathrooms" were outhouses; water was pumped then carried inside; baths were a once-a-week luxury; and entertainment was mostly horse shows, ice skating and family gatherings. During his life, electricity, tractors, cars, computers, microwaves, TVs and space travel became commonplace. His scientific mind eagerly embraced new technologies, while retaining his depression-age determination to ‘make do' with very little.
Although Beal rarely left Iowa as a young man, the attack on Pearl Harbor changed everything. He was accepted to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) cadet school at training bases across America, but most notably Clovis (NM) where Beal was ‘captured' by Eastern NM College's Girl of the Year, Rodean Crockett. They had only a few dates before he was suddenly shipped out, detouring to Brazil, then across Africa, and finally to his first base in India to 'fly The Hump" over the Himalayas into China.
Beal's service record lists campaigns in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater involving Air Offensive Japan, China Campaign, Central Burma Campaign, India-Burma Campaign, and Air Combat Sumatra. He requested discharge at Ft. Bliss in El Paso to quickly return to see his Lovington sweetheart, "Dean", who had faithfully written during the war. They were married in Lovington's First Baptist Church, August 31, 1946.
While the family lived for a short time in Iowa and Pennsylvania, basically they never strayed far from Dean's homestead roots in Lea County. Beal always farmed, he also usually held other jobs to support his 'farming addiction.' He was western regional service manager for New Holland Machine Co., worked for USDA, managed the local feed mill, worked for Lea County Electric, and retired as maintenance supervisor for Nor-Lea General Hospital.
Love of God and family powered Beal's zest for life. He has always lived with gusto, sometimes to the dismay of his wife who has had to ‘pick up the pieces.' He explored Israel, Egypt, Swaziland, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and England. Always adventurous, even in their later years, he and Dean parasailed in Hawaii and climbed glaciers in Alaska. He is a cancer survivor and a ‘bionic man' with replacements or repairs to both shoulders, both knees, several fingers, and two Deep Brain Stimulator implants to help him live with Parkinson's. Despite all this, his friends and family called him the original "Energizer Bunny" who walked a mile and worked every day on his computer until his fall in October that fractured his neck. At age 90, Beal built a new shop to expand his tractor rebuilding business. His customers kept his phone ringing and even his last week, he advised a customer how to repair his tractor from his room at the Good Samaritan.
Beal was active in church work, serving as a deacon for 40+ years and on the First Baptist Church building committee for both the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Beal and Dean loved to visit and encourage people and for decades were faithful to send cards of celebration and encouragement. Beal spend hours on his computer to bank, order tractor parts and to stay in touch with friends and family scattered around the globe.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Max LeGrand and Leila Anna Freeman] Gleason; one son, Beal Stuart Gleason, Jr.; and two sisters: Maxine Ethel Winstead Dobrin and Leanne Smittkamp. He is survived by his wife, Rodean Crockett Gleason, Lovington, their three daughters and one son (spouses included): Sue and Lou Grounds, Denver, Co.; Jeanne Gleason, Las Cruces, NM; Patty and Ken Borgert, Pretoria, South Africa; Larry and Judy Gleason, Lovington; two sisters Marie Esther Andersen, Iowa City; and Margaret Elizabeth Skromme of Lancaster, PA.; four grandchildren Kel Gleason, Lovington; Kyla and Ryan Bleyenberg, Kamloops, British Columbia, Nathaniel and Natalie Borgert, Pretoria, South Africa; and one great granddaughter Abigail Gene Bleyenberg, Kamloops, BC.
Published December 12, 2012 by Stevens Funeral Home
Max LeGrand Gleason (1888 - 1966)
Leila Anna Freeman Gleason (1889 - 1984)
Rodean Crockett Gleason (1932 - 2016)*
Beal Stuart Gleason (1949 - 1950)*
Larry Dean Gleason (1956 - 2014)*
Maxine Gleason Dobrin (1913 - 2006)*
Beal Stuart Gleason (1921 - 2012)
New Mexico, USA
Maintained by: Jeanne Gleason
Originally Created by: Carolyn Mackey-Byrum
Record added: Dec 14, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102176988