Obituary: Richard H. Gleason

Painter, teacher, beloved son and brother

Richard H. Gleason died August 16 at the age of 75.

He was born in 1945 to John and Mary Gleason in Washington D.C., where his father was stationed while serving in the United States Navy during World War II.

The Gleason family returned to Claremont in 1946, where Richard attended local schools before graduating from the Webb School in 1963. He went on to attend Harvard University where he studied history, graduating in 1967.

After college he worked as a teacher in the AmeriCorps VISTA program in West Virginia. In 1969 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the anti-submarine warfare division stationed at the Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine.

Following his military service, he moved to New York City, where he attended the Art Students League of New York, studying under artists Charles Apt and Arthur Stern. During his studies in New York, he developed a distinct painting style utilizing palette knives to apply the paint to the canvas. His paintings were featured in Mr. Stern’s 1984 book How to See Color and Paint It.

After working for a time teaching English as a second language at the Spanish American Institute in New York, he returned to Claremont and worked in area public schools while continuing to paint portraits, still lifes and landscapes. Claremont Heritage mounted a show of his work in 2019.

He enjoyed visits and calls from his sister; he followed sports on television, particularly tennis and baseball; he walked daily in the foothills and around the Village; and for many years a highlight was Thanksgiving with his sister and cousins, where he especially enjoyed watching the young children play.

He spent many years caring for his father John before his death in 2001.

He is survived by his sister Jane Gleason Morse of Cambridge, Massachusetts, her husband Robert, and by many loving cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Gleason’s name may be made to Claremont Heritage at


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