Gleason, David Slette
He felt weak and collapsed along the side of the road. Despite several attempts at Silverton Hospital to bring him back, his heart function and circulation did not return. David, age 68 and Clintonville native, was a loving and patient husband, proud father, doting grandfather and highly regarded business owner. His parents, Walter and Arleen Gleason, were former co-publishers and owners of the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette.
He was born Sept. 18, 1953, in Clintonville, Wisconsin. After graduating from Clintonville Senior High School in 1971, he attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. In his early 20s, David ventured west with friends to be in the mountains. He had a transformational trip to the Grand Canyon that helped shape his life values and form some of his deepest lifelong relationships. In the late 1970s, David moved to Ashland, Oregon, where he bought what became Masterpiece Wood Floors. Through his integrity and incredible work ethic, it grew into a successful business, built on his reputation for excellent quality and service. He owned and operated Masterpiece for over 40 years before passing on the business to his son, Jesse, and daughter-in-law, Deneé. In 1981, David married his first wife, Linda Stewart Danks, who remained a close friend throughout his life. In 1982, he adopted Linda’s son, Jesse. He married Louise Neilson in 2001, and in 2003, he applied his skills to build their beautiful dream home on a hill overlooking Damascus. Over 10 years ago, as he looked forward to retirement, he took up cycling and regularly went on long rides with his many close riding friends. He always enjoyed discovering what was around the next curve in the road. David’s friends Nancy and Andrew Vandervelde were with him on his final bike ride and hours of life. David was well-known for his acts of service and generosity. If you needed a tool, a touch-up on your floor or someone to confide in, David was always ready to help. He also loved a good project. Every fall, David produced gallons of applesauce and pear butter from his own small orchard and shared them with friends and family. In recent months, he had begun constructing a kayak. David will be remembered for his love, honesty, integrity, sense of humor, friendship and empathy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Arleen Gleason. He is survived by his wife, Louise Neilson (Damascus); his son, Jesse, daughter-in-law, Deneé, and grandchildren, Kyra and Kody Gleason, (Vancouver, Washington); his sister, Cynthia Gleason Kostka (Denver); nieces, nephews and cousins; stepdaughters, Julie (Portland, Oregon), Sarah (Brooklyn, NY), and Heidi Neilson and her husband, Kim Fisher (New York City); and David’s first wife, Linda Stewart Sanfilippo (South Pasadena, Florida).
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that remembrances be made to Habitat for Humanity of Oregon, Community Cycling Center or Oregon Natural Desert Association. A celebration of David’s life will be held in spring 2022.