Muriel “Mo” Gleeson

Muriel “Mo” Gleeson, 89, of Ashland, passed away Saturday, October 31, 2020, with her loving family by her side. She was born October 14, 1931 in St. Cloud, MN, the daughter of Fred and Elsie (Roth) Durand.

Mo received her degree as a registered nurse from Ancker Hospital in St. Paul, MN. After receiving her degree, she moved to Long Beach, CA, where she met the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Gleeson on a blind date on April Fool’s Day. The couple were united in marriage on July 31, 1954 in St. Paul, MN. Shortly after their marriage, they traveled to Guam where her husband was stationed with the US Navy.

After two years in Guam, Mo & Bob moved to St. Cloud, MN, and subsequentially Fridley, MN. The Gleeson family moved to Ashland in 1968, after her husband accepted a position of elementary school principal. Mo had an open door policy at her home throughout her life. In 1971, she and Bob started a Christian coffee house, “The Shed”, at their home which served as a fellowship outreach for Northland College students.

Mo and her husband became foster parents in 1976, and continued to welcome people into their home for many years. She became a mother figure to many, as her wit, wisdom and work as a mentor was a testimony to hundreds. Mo was very well-read, and continually expanded her mind by reading hundreds of books and her Bible. She gained knowledge and wisdom which she used to help and encourage others. She also was a member of Salem Church of Ashland where she led adult Sunday School for many years.

For 47 years her home was the gathering place for bible studies, fellowship, meaningful discussions and good laughs. Mo’s caring advice, encouragement, guidance and loving ministry was cherished greatly by many throughout her life. There is a good chance you were on her daily prayer list, as her list grew longer every year.

Mo’s legacy also included being a gifted artist, and among her works were her infamous handmade cards which were a blessing to everyone who received them. She will also be remembered by her grandchildren – and others - as GRAMO. Her many wise and witty quotes, lovingly referred to as “MO-isms”, were sprinkled into many conversations. Her clever words of wisdom will be cherished and remembered by all who heard them.

She is survived by her children, Leta (Greg) Williamson, Nadia (David) Schafer, Tom (Julie) Gleeson and Mara (John) Olson; sister, Biz (Donald) Person; 22

grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and 3 nephews and their families; life-long friend of 52 years, Alice Johnson and countless other faithful friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Bob, her parents; and a brother, Fred.

A walk-through and socially-distanced visitation will begin at 11:00 am, Saturday, November 7th at Salem Church, Ashland. The celebration of Mo’s life will be held after the visitation at 1:00 pm. Pastor Rod Larson and son-in-law, Greg Williamson will officiate the service.

If you are unable to join us in person, the celebration will be broadcasted through the following link:

In lieu of flowers, take a friend to lunch or enjoy a “flavor of the day”.

Arrangements are by Frost Funeral Home. To view the obituary online or to sign the guestbook, please visit us at

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