Born November 24, 1944, to Theron and Suzanne Gleason, David was a war baby whose father died in action over Japan in 1945. He attended schools in Portland, Puerto Rico, Ashland, and southern California. In 1963, he transferred from Long Beach State to Southern Oregon College where he earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1966, followed by a master's of education in 1969. He also attended the University of Oregon.
He married Vonja in 1965 and they had two children, Jodi and Chris. David spent 32 years as an educator, 31 of which were with the Phoenix-Talent School District as a teacher, district office administrator, and dean of students. He had the honor of teaching in all of the district's elementary schools as well as the middle school.
Active in the community, David spent 10 years volunteering with the National Ski Patrol System at Mt. Ashland and many years volunteering with Kiwanis International. He was also active professionally serving with the bargaining team and as president of the Phoenix-Talent Teacher's Association.
David's passions included photography, travel, landscape design, and golfing. He was able to travel to all four corners of the United States and many of the countries of Western Europe. He would use photographs to create DVDs of his travel experiences. His landscape design allowed him to create a marvelous backyard with waterfalls, a pergola, and swimming pool that was designed to fit into the landscape.
David passed away at home October 12, 2012. David is preceded in death by his parents; beloved grandparents, Ernest and Ella Gleason; and grandson, Zachery Nelson.
Survivors include his wife, Vonja Knox; son, Christopher Knox and wife, Kim; daughter, Jodi Nelson and husband, Rich; grandchildren, Spencer and Lydia Nelson; sister, Sandy Kirsch and husband, Rich; niece and nephew, Tammy Holzer and Mike Kirsch; mother-in-law, Bernice Ray; and numerous Gleason family aunts, uncles, and cousins.
His family will never forget his passion for life in the Rogue Valley, love of teaching, and the amazing love he has shown to all of us. He truly has been a supportive and devoted husband, the best father ever, and a proud Papa.
At his request there will be no public service. The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date. Contributions in his name may be made to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center or Dogs for the Deaf in Central Point.