Robert Gleason, 73, died at home in Livingston on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.
Mr. Gleason was born on May 26, 1946 to Thomas and Irene Gleason of Jersey City.
He attended St. Aloysius High School in Jersey City, where he excelled in varsity swimming and basketball. He graduated from Montclair State University in 1967, majoring in health and physical education.
At MSU, Mr. Gleason played varsity basketball for four years and was named an NCAA Little All-American. The college sponsored a prestigious “Bob Gleason Day” on Feb. 26, 1968, recognizing his athletic achievements.
Mr. Gleason taught physical education in the Montclair School district. He coached both basketball and soccer teams, retiring after more than 35 years in education.
For many years, he was actively involved in the Essex County Chapter of the Special Olympics, which he continued throughout his retirement.
He is survived by his ex-wife Elaine Pennella Gleason, one sister Rita (Gay) Viggiano and her husband John, and four nieces and one nephew.
Viewing will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29 at Caggiano Funeral Home, 62 Grove St., Montclair. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at St. Philips Church, 797 Valley Road, Clifton. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Robert Gleason are requested to the Special Olympics Organization at specialolympics.org.