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John Philip Gleason

November 30, 1927 ~ January 17, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

John Gleason Obituary

John Philip Gleason       Obituary

John Philip Gleason, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Notre Dame, passed away on January 17, 2024, in Evanston, Illinois, at the age of 96. Philip Gleason was born in Wilmington, Ohio, to John Gleason and Ann (Bergin) Gleason. He served with U.S. Army in 1946. He then graduated from the University of Dayton in 1951. Shortly thereafter, he embarked upon graduate work in history at the University of Notre Dame, receiving his doctorate in 1960. He met his wife, Maureen (Lacey) Gleason, at Notre Dame; they married in 1957 and enjoyed 66 years together as a loving couple.

Phil spent his career at Notre Dame teaching and publishing in the areas of American Catholicism and Higher Education, Immigration and Ethnicity as well as Intellectual History. He served as chairman of Notre Dame’s Department of History from 1971 to 1974. His many and diverse publications include Keeping the Faith: American Catholicism Past and Present, Speaking of Diversity: Language and Ethnicity in Twentieth-Century America, and a culmination of his life’s scholarship: Contending With Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century.

In recognition of his years of teaching and scholarship, in 1999, the University of Notre Dame awarded Phil the Laetare Medal, the most prestigious honor awarded to American Catholics and one rarely granted to faculty members.

In addition to the Laetare Medal, Phil received many other awards and honors including honorary degrees from Loyola University, the University of Dayton and Marquette University. In addition, he received Notre Dame’s Faculty Award (1978), Notre Dame’s Presidential Award (1987), given jointly to him and his wife Maureen Gleason, and the Theodore M. Hesburgh C.S.C. Award and the 2019 Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Catholic Historical Association. Phil was also President of the American Catholic Historical Association and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society.

Phil is survived by his wife, his four children: Ann (Rick Regan), Dan (Susan Ansell Gleason), Margaret (Pat Loftus) and Philip Gleason (Renee Monson), and five grandchildren: Grace Gleason, Nick Gleason, Patrick Loftus, Mary Loftus and Sean Loftus.  He was preceded in death by his brothers Daniel and James Gleason.

Funeral services will be held on January 25, 2024, at 2:30 Eastern Standard Time at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, IN.  In lieu of flowers please consider donating to a charity that Phil supported: Catholic Relief Services, Partners in Health, or United Negro College Fund.

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Mass of Christian Burial
January 25, 2024

2:30 PM
Basilica of the Sacred Heart
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556


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