Frances "Sue" Gleason
1926 - 2020
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Frances "Sue" Gleason

December 20, 1926 - November 15, 2020

You know when an elderly, 5-foot-tall, 85-pound woman gets escorted out of a store by two burly police officers for badgering the clerks that her story is…interesting! Indeed, for nearly 94 years Frances "Sue" Gleason commanded attention wherever she went, in sometimes dramatic and usually hilarious ways. Sue departed this earth on Sunday, November 15 and is certainly charming all of heaven with her unique style.

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1926, the only child of a civil engineer father and working mother, Sue was outgoing, curious, and happy. She made friends easily and had great compassion and love for all animals. She had an eye for fashion and was signed on as a model by John Robert Powers, appearing in the New York Times, Seventeen, and other fashion magazines of her day.

Her modeling became secondary when she met a young Marine officer, and after tying the knot in 1951, Sue and Tom traveled the world together for 56 years and raised six children, 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Her family was scattered across the country but her youngest daughter, Mary, settled in Phoenix with her husband and cared for Sue with deep devotion and love during her last years. Mary's love and persistent care allowed Sue to live with independence and dignity, and to keep her beloved dog, Lucky, at her side until the end.

Sue was a frequent visitor to her neighborhood grocery and drugstore, she loved the tellers at her bank, and never missed a chance to shop at "Needless Mark-up", as she called it. She loved to play the slots and while she didn't win a lot of money, she won many friends.

Sue reminded the world that senior citizens have a voice that should be heard as wise and witty contributors to the public discourse. She proved that the elderly are often determined and strong enough to haul groceries, drive safely through hurricanes, resuscitate ailing chipmunks, and not allow themselves to be pushed around by anyone. She dearly loved her husband and was devoted to him beyond his death; she prayed for and bragged on her children, and wanted more than anything for them to be happy and find joy in their lives.

In short, Sue Gleason lived an adventurous and full life. She had her faults and would sometimes own up to them, but more importantly, she loved the Lord God, her husband, family and friends, and left every place she went better for having been there. In life we were always perplexed and amazed by her, in death we honor and salute her with gratitude and love.

Services will be held at the United States Naval Academy at a later date. Sue loved the work of Jimmy Hatch, so donations in her memory can be made to Spike's K9 Fund to help protect military and law enforcement working dogs. (

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2020.
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November 25, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
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