Rockwell City - Delbert Francis Gleason, son of Florence (Sommerfeld) and August Gleason, passed away suddenly Sunday, May 30, 2021, at his home in Ames, at the age of 87. Burial of his ashes will be in Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, during a Private Family Graveside Service, with Military Rites conducted by the United States Air Force Honor Guard and Rockwell City Veterans Organization. Palmer & Swank Funeral Home, Rockwell City is serving the family.
Delbert was born on July 20, 1933, at his parent’s farm 8 miles east and ½ mile north of Rockwell City. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanual Lutheran Church, east of Rockwell City. He graduated from Somers High School with the Class of 1951. Delbert then entered the Air Force in February 1952. After training as a crew chief on the F-86 fighter aircraft, he wanted to fly so entered pilot training and graduated as a pilot in the class of 1955. He was selected by the Air Force to fly KC-97’s and later fly KC-135’s. He was united in marriage to Gloria Mae (Zoss) on April 21, 1956, at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, California. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force as a Captain in 1959. He then worked at Indianapolis Air Traffic Control Center for 1-1/2 years then went to St. Louis, Missouri and worked at the Aeronautical Chart Center until recalled as a pilot by the Air Force in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later became a veteran of the Vietnam War. He stayed in the Air Force as a pilot and retired in May 1976 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 22 years. The couple and their son, Russell Lee, lived in many parts of the world during his military career.
In 1976, Delbert went home to Rockwell City to farm until his beloved wife of 49 years passed away on February 27, 2005. He moved to Fort Dodge until 2014, when he decided to live in Ames to be closer to his son, Russell. Delbert was a member of Memorial Lutheran Church, Ames.
Delbert is survived by a son, Russell Lee Gleason and his wife Sally Ann (Onken) of Ames; two granddaughters, Shelly Ann Kielsmeier and her husband Jack, and their son Conor, Delbert’s great-grandson; and Shanda Lee Gleason and her husband Nathan. Delbert was preceded in death by his parents August and Florence; wife Gloria; his brother Kenny and sister-in-law Thelma; his sister Ruth and brother-in-law Jack Miner.