Mary Patricia “Patti” Gleason, 97, of Centerville, passed away Friday afternoon, Oct. 18, 2013 at Centerville Nursing and Rehab in Centerville.
A native of Centerville, Patti was the daughter of C.W. (Jack) Howell and Mary (Buzz) Howell. Her childhood home was a Queen Anne Victorian situated on the Drake Avenue lot now occupied by the Alliant Energy building. Patti’s Centerville roots extend to her great-grandfather, C.W. Howell, who moved to southern Iowa from South Hampton, N.Y. in 1846. Her grandfather, C.F. Howell, built the Howell building on the south side of the square in 1916, the year of Patti’s birth.
After graduating from CHS in 1934, Patti attended Ward-Belmont College for Women in Nashville, Tenn. for two years, then graduated from the Northwestern University School of Journalism in 1938. She worked in Des Moines for Look magazine and the Des Moines Register before returning to Centerville to be the first manager of the local Sears order office.
In 1939, she married Robert W. Greenleaf, also of Centerville. The couple began their married life in Washington, D.C., where Patti worked in the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury and Bob for the Department of the Interior. After a brief stay in Oregon, they returned to Centerville in 1947, where Bob joined the Valentine Law Firm. Bob later became General Counsel and then President of the Iowa Southern Utilities Company, serving in the latter capacity for a decade.
Bob and Patti had two sons, Stephen, who lives in Portland, Ore. with his wife, Ann, and Jon, who resides in Redmond, Ore. with his wife, Colleen. She had two grandchildren, Aaron of Portland, Ore. and Christine of Snohomish, Wash., mother of Patti’s only great-grandchild, Keaghan Mezo. Bob Greenleaf died in 1971. Patti’s sister, Margaret (Peggy) Venell died two years later.