Peaceful 11

Robert Davis Gleason

September 27, 1935 ~ July 24, 2022 (age 86)
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Robert Davis Gleason, 86, formerly of Westmont, passed away peacefully July 24, 2022 in Peters Twp., PA.  Survived by his loving wife for over 50 years, Linda (Thatcher) Gleason.  Survived by sons, Scott Thatcher Gleason, and wife, Colleen Stright, and grandchildren Charles Thatcher Gleason and Betty Ruth Gleason, Pittsburgh; and Attorney Ryan Davis Gleason, Canonsburg.  Survived by brother Attorney Andrew Davis Gleason, and wife, Judith (Opacic) Gleason, both of Westmont.  Also survived by numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.  Predeceased by sister, Anne (Gleason) Barbin, and husband, William Barbin, Akron, Ohio. Born on September 27, 1935, in Johnstown, the son of Attorney Andrew J. Gleason and Olga (Davis) Gleason.  A proud graduate of Southmont High School (1953), where he was captain of the district champion debate team and center and linebacker for the Golder Tigers football team and an all-league point guard for the basketball team.  Graduate of Dickinson College (1957), and the University of Richmond School of Law (1960) after attending Notre Dame Law School.  Served and honorably discharged from the United States Air Force Reserve (1960-66). He was admitted to the Bar in 1961 and was a partner at the Johnstown law firm that his father helped establish, Gleason, DiFrancesco, Shahade, Barbin & Markovitz, which has been continuously in operation since 1950.  For over 50 years until his retirement in 2014, “Gunner” was one of the most sought-after and successful criminal defense and trial attorneys in Johnstown, representing thousands of clients in not only Cambria County but throughout Pennsylvania.  Often representing the most prominent and high-profile defendants in the toughest, most-publicized cases, Gleason became a fixture on local news for decades.  He also represented numerous clients in personal injury cases and was one of the most in-demand Liquor Law attorneys, representing numerous bars and restaurants throughout the area.  Gleason’s influence and stature among the Cambria County Bar was immense as both a mentor and friend to many attorneys through the decades.    “Gunner” was also a longtime and prominent mainstay of Republican local and state politics from the 1960s onward, serving in various roles and committees in both Cambria County and statewide.  From 1964-1969, he served as chairman of the Cambria County Young Republicans, and state officer and national committeeman for the Pennsylvania Young Republicans.   He was elected Cambria County Republican State Committeeman in 1974 and was continuously re-elected until his retirement from politics in 2018, also serving for over 40 years on the Pennsylvania Republican State Leadership Committee.  Through the years, Gleason was a friend and helped the campaigns of numerous politicians, officeholders, and judges, including Governors Bill Scranton Sr. and Ray Shaffer; United States Senators Hugh Scott, John Heinz, Richard Schweiker and Arlen Specter; Chief Justice Thomas Saylor of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Judge Stephen McEwen of the Pennsylvania Superior Court.  Outside of law and politics, Gleason was a lifetime player, coach, and fan of basketball in the Johnstown area.  He played countless games of pick-up basketball at local gyms and playgrounds (including his “homecourt” Stutzman Playground), earning the moniker “Gunner” for long-distance shooting prowess.  He gave selflessly of both his time and money, helping sponsor numerous teams and tournaments, including most importantly “Gunner’s Great Johnstown Shootout,” an alumni and youth basketball tournament that ran from 1989 to 2002 at Bishop McCourt and the War Memorial.  Gleason was a longtime booster and supporter of youth and high school basketball in Westmont as well as the St. Francis Red Flash.  Longtime supporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers.  Gleason was a former member Johnstown Elks, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and First Presbyterian Church in Johnstown.  Above all else, though, Bob cherished his friends and family, most importantly his sons Scott & Ryan and his beloved wife Linda.  His door was open to everyone.  Friends will be received on Saturday, July 30 at First Presbyterian Church, 309 Lincoln St. from 10 AM until the time of service at 11, Revs. Chuck MacPherson and Jim Farrer officiating.    Entombment at Grandview Mausoleum. 



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July 30, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church
309 Lincoln Street
Johnstown, PA 15901

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