In Memory

Mike Gleeson

Mike Gleeson

John Michael "Mike" Gleeson (1944 - 2018)

John Michael 'Mike' Gleeson
Oct. 30, 1944 - April 8, 2018
John Michael "Mike" Gleeson passed away comfortably and at peace April 8, 2018, after a lengthy illness. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Mike was born Oct. 30, 1944 in Portland and was raised and lived his entire life in the Portland area. He was preceded in death by his father, John Ellsworth Gleeson; and mother, Helen Sydney Gleeson in 2014. He is survived by his son, Carsten (Katerina); granddaughters, Marcella and Marie; his partner of 20 years, Linda Girard; his brother, Tim (Linda Gleeson); his sister, Sydney (partner Lester Stuplich); many nieces and cousins; and his former wife, Cathie Gleeson.
Mike graduated from Sunset High School in 1962 where he was known as "The Snake" because of his unique wind-up pitching style. He attended the University of Oregon attaining a Bachelor's Degree in 1966 and completed his law degree at U of O in 1969. He entered private legal practice with the Leaf legal firm of Beaverton, and later became partner in the law firm which was renamed Leaf and Gleeson. The firm became Gleeson and Davis and later, Gleeson Law where Mike practiced his entire professional career until semi retirement in 2012. He served on the bench as Municipal Court Judge of Wilsonville for 28 years, retiring in 2017. He enjoyed playing and following athletics and singing in the Multnomah Athletic Club's male choral group, the Balladeers.
Mike had a unique ability to make people laugh. From childhood on, his quick wit, ability to see humor in all situations and settings, and his self-deprecating manner kept friends, family and colleagues laughing. Mike was known for his extreme tenacity, integrity and reliability in his career and his clients knew that they always got his best. All who knew Mike could appreciate his thoroughness, candor and common sense. He was always loyal to clients, family, friends and his Oregon Ducks.
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same!"
A celebration of life will be held from 2 - 5 p.m., Sunday, June 3, 2018, at the Multnomah Athletic Club. Remembrances in Mike's name may be directed to Central City Concern, Portland, OR, or the charity of your choice.

Published in The Oregonian from Apr. 27 to Apr. 29, 2018


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04/10/18 08:36 PM #7    

Chuck Armstrong


It seems that I have known Mike forever.  A great guy; smart, and with a great sense of humor.  He was a talented lawyer who served my family in that capacity for many years.  my mother who is still living at 93, will be saddened by this news.  

Rest In Peace dear friend.

Chuck Armstrong



04/11/18 08:36 AM #8    

Den Sivers

Mike had mastered a style of self-deprecating humor that was both endearing and deceptive.  He was very clever and savvy with great insight.  Mike really cared about people and was wonderful friend. What a guy!

04/11/18 11:44 AM #9    

Lauren John Paulson

Mike Gleeson Memory:


Upon returning to Oregon after a ten year absence, I saw the Class of 62 through new eyes.  Immediately, meetings were underway for the 25th planned by enthusiastic classmates.


Something else emerged.  I noticed that virtually all classmates saw Mike Gleeson as the safe harbor to see what was going on.  Indeed, he became the fountainhead for the process including from the wayward who wanted to be welcomed back into the fold.  Everyone just felt comfortable with him in all ways.  Respected leaders come in all shapes and sizes.  Mike was a respected leader in all ways but remained humble for all his days.   By Lauren Paulson

04/12/18 08:55 AM #10    

Barton Charles Bobbitt

Mike was one of a kind.   Good man and good friend.  

 I know over the years if I had a question about Washington County judges, attorneys or procedures, Mike was willing to take the time to confer with meet with me and give me the real scoop.  I regret not spending more time with him. 

My condolences to his family.  

04/13/18 11:54 AM #11    

Donna Hoch (Nesbitt)


My condolences to Mike's family and friends.  So sorry to hear of his passing.  A bright light has been extinguished on earth but a new star will shine in heaven.  We were blessed to have him as a classmate.


04/14/18 12:59 AM #12    

Paul Pearson (German Teacher)

During Mike's junior year, Hal Bayley and he had their lockers across the hall from my home room.  Although neither was enrolled in German, it became the norm for them to stop in my home room and visit for a bit.  Then off to whatever sports they were playing.  Through those "stop ins," I became acquainted with Mike's parents - Jack & Helen.  This relationship continued for approximately 50 years until their illnesses had progressed too far.

I can only repeat what the rest of you have written....a very fine person and what a pleasure to know.  I appreciate you "kids" in the Class of 1962 for arranging the Happy Hours,  which included both Mike and me.

As D. H. Lawrence once wrote:  "Time in her flight drops a few fine feathers."   

04/14/18 05:13 PM #13    

Lauren John Paulson



    It was a beautiful dusk evening in Beaverton.  The occasion was Beaverton Good Neighbor Days.  The Washington County Bar Association had a booth dispensing free legal erudition or not.  Respected Judge Ashmanskas was there along with an assortment of local lawyers.  Toward the shank of the shift, a young man with a wry smile across his facial stepped up to the dispensing table.  “Hey, he said”, with that grin, “…….I have a lawyer joke.”  Some of us looked at the other and we all uncomfortably hesitated when Mike Gleeson abruptly stood up, got in this man’s face (Mike stood at least two hands taller) and affirmatively stated:  “We don’t do lawyer jokes!!”  The would-be jokester saw what he was up against, thought better of his mission, and slunk silently away.  Mike Memories. 

04/16/18 10:44 AM #14    

Jean Speckman (Eves)

I first met Mike when I moved to Cedar Hills in the sixth grade.  We all attended dance classes in the basement of Barnes School and although most of the boys professed hating to attend Mike told me once he really enjoyed the classes.  I think Mike enjoyed most of the things life had to offer.  He was kind to everyone and game for most anything.  He seldom said no.  If I called him he quickly returned the call and I know he did this with many of his friends.  He was a kind, caring and very astute person.  He will be missed by many.  His insight into people and their wily ways was always thought provoking as he gave off the demeanor of a laid back fellow who wasn't always paying attention.  In hindsight I don't think he missed much!

04/18/18 08:35 PM #15    

Penny Kathleen Welch

Mike was such a sweet, engaging guy.  Even recently at the Sunset'62 lunches at O'Connors' his smile and total presence let you know he was interested and listening to all the people around him, and totally humble about the time, energy and talent he had contributed to his community -- a life well lived.  We'll miss you, Mike.

04/29/18 10:02 AM #16    

Thomas William Lawson (Tad) McCall

Mike was as nice as a person could be.  A competitor, but with a gentle spirit.  I always remember him as "Wheels" arms and legs all in motion at once, making quite a commotion.  You could always joke with Mike, and he didn't mind a little ribbing, no pretense in Wheels Gleeson.  Nice to read about his successful carreer and life, but sad to hear he has departed.  

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