Marblehead — Josephine (Rhones) Gleason, 94, formerly of Marblehead, died peacefully at Emeritus at Cherry Hill assisted living facility in Danvers, on January 30th. Born at home on her parents’ farm in Lexington on February 21, 1918, she was the daughter of the late Edward and Eva (Bletch) Rhones, the youngest of six children.
After graduating from Lowell Normal School (now UMass/Lowell) with a degree in music education, she taught music in several schools in the Wolfeboro, NH, area, where she met her future husband, Arthur Benge Gleason. They were married on Christmas Eve, 1941. After moving to Marblehead in 1946, she continued her education, earning several graduate degrees in music and education. She was the sole elementary music teacher in Marblehead for several years, teaching in each of the elementary schools, where she helped students learn music appreciation and play instruments, and organized wonderful concerts, operettas and musicals that are still remembered by her students today. She later taught in the (then) new Junior High School on Village Street and became the town’s music supervisor until her retirement after 35 years of service.
Always involved in Marblehead community affairs, she belonged to the Eastern Star, was active in her church, organized holiday music events, pageants and concerts and participated in many philanthropic activities.
After retirement, she and her husband moved to their home on Lake Winnipesaukee and spent winters in Florida. She sang with the New Hampshire Music Festival, a semi-professional touring chorus, until well into her eighties. Mrs. Gleason enjoyed traveling with her husband and had visited each continent, including Antarctica, except Africa.
She leaves behind a son Joel P. Gleason, of Marblehead, three grandchildren: J.P. Gleason Jr., Andrea, and Randy and his wife Natalie, a great-grandson Randy, Jr., a niece Carol (Rhones) Lionetta of Alton Bay, NH, her best friend and sister-in-law Marion (Gleason) Peterson, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and a host of many close friends, all of whom will miss her dearly.
ARRANGEMENTS: Services will be private at Lake Winnipesaukee, this spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Emeritus at Cherry Hill, 220 Conant St., Danvers, MA 01923 and/or Beacon Hospice, Inc., 100 Cummings Center, Suite 222C, Beverly, MA 01915. Arrangements by the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, Marblehead. Please visit the online guest book for Josephine at www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com