Obituary for Erland Walter "Erl" Gleason
Erland “Erl” W. Gleason, 72, of Coldwater, died October 12, 2017 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He will perhaps be best known for his love of family and music, but has also contributed to the lives of countless adults through his restorative communication therapy following their stroke or head injury.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Coldwater with Fr. Fred Pasche and Very Rev. Mark Vyverman officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Coldwater. Visitation will take place on Monday, October 16, 2017 from 5:00 until 8:00 PM with a Prayer Service to be held at 7:30 PM at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater.
Erland was born on March 20, 1945 in Lansing, Michigan to Erland and Carolyn Gleason. He lived in Maple Rapids, Michigan until graduation from Fulton High School whereupon he began studying Vocal Music and Theatre at Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. He later transferred to the Department of Audiology and Speech Science and Graduated from Michigan State University in 1974 with a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology.
He married Janet (Pasche) on September 17, 1966 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Lansing while still in college and continuing both full time employment and acting.
Erl moved to Coldwater with his wife and family in 1969 to join the speech therapy staff of Branch Intermediate School District and became a member and Cantor of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. He later worked for Coldwater Regional Center as an Audiology and Speech Consultant. It wasn’t until his family was grown that he resumed his love for theatre and music through featured roles in musicals and plays such as Lil’ Abner, Camelot, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, and several others produced through Coldwater and Hillsdale Community Theatre.
Mr. Gleason was founder and Director of Speech and Language Services, P.C. providing Speech and Language Therapy services to Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Home Health Agencies in a five county southern Michigan/northern Indiana area. He also was part owner of Coach House Rehabilitation Center in Coldwater.
Erland Gleason was a member of Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Michigan Speech and Hearing Association, American Voice Foundation, past President and board member of Tibbits Opera Foundation, Treasurer and President of Coldwater Community Theatre, member and past President of Coldwater Township Sunshine Rotary, The Parlor Singers, St. Charles Religious Education Commission and National Pastoral Musicians. He was Cantor and the choir director for St. Charles Church for over 31 years and cantor at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Angola. He led the Church choirs on tours to Italy and Austria to perform concerts and sing at an Audience with the Pope.
For his entire life, Erl Gleason has dedicated his life to healing of mind and soul through assisting the recovery of the communicatively handicapped and interpreting music to enhance the power of God’s love.
He is survived by his wife, Janet Gleason; son Scott Erland Gleason of Olathe KS; daughters Kristie Kay (Brian) Hovey of Lansing MI; Jennifer Marie (Ben) Rufenacht of Quincy, MI; grandsons Trenton Hovey, Luke Rufenacht, Austin Hovey, and Noah Rufenacht: granddaughter Madison Hovey, Katherine Gleason and Avery Rufenacht, and brother; Rodney E. Gleason of Bath Michigan. He was preceded in death by his brother Roger Gleason and parents, Erland and Carolyn Gleason.
Memorials can be made to the Tibbits Opera Foundation or the Alpha 1 Foundation.