Mary Ellen Gless

February 4, 1933 ~ March 22, 2018 (age 85)

Mary Ellen Gless, longtime Dallas resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

            Born February 4th, 1933, Mary was the third daughter to George and Helen Opalenik, who immigrated from the Carpathian region of Czechoslovakia after the First World War. She was the wife of Dale Lee Gless (deceased), pilot and engineer, married November 12, 1955 in Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Kent, Ohio. Mary and Dale had two daughters: Heather Kimberly, and Honor Koren (wed to James DeLancey) and two grandchildren, Kyle James and Connor Morgan DeLancey.  Mary was a sister to George Opalenik, sister-in-law to his wife Betty, of Wadsworth, Ohio, and the sister-in-law to Raymond and Helen Gless (both deceased).

            Mary graduated from Kent State High School in 1951. In Kent, she would meet Dale, her husband of 56 years at the Kent dance studio, where, after weeks of lessons, Dale asked Mary to the dance formal - their first date. They dated through Mary’s high school years, while Dale worked in Kent as a carpenter. After a few more years of dating, Dale and Mary were engaged.

Mary worked as a long distance telephone operator for Ohio Bell from 1951 to 1960, until, after a few years as newly-weds in Ohio, the Glesses would move to Inglewood, CA. There, Mary worked in public relations for Merle Norman Cosmetics, and Dale studied mechanical engineering at the Northrop Institute of Technology. During this time, they took many trips in their Cessna 172 (aka “79-B”), including trips to Ohio, California, and Florida, meeting many politicians, celebrities and sports figures along the way.

            The Glesses moved to Milton, Florida, in 1964, where there two daughters were born.    More changes would come after Dale accepted a position with Owens-Illinois in November 1966. The Glesses moved back to Ohio, this time living in Perrysburg. A short two years later, they would move to Vineland, N.J., living there for three years before moving to the Back Mountain in 1971, where the Glesses would continue to live for nearly half a century.

            After raising her daughters, Mary would begin work at the Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, serving the Dallas community for nearly 25 years.

Mary’s favorite color was purple.  She was a lover of TV, old movies, technological innovations, all things political and her two pets KeKe (cat) and Snickles (dog).

            Mary Ellen has not left us, as she will live in our memories forever. Our mother, sister, family, and friend will be greatly missed and her full life not forgotten.

            Friends may call Tuesday, March 27 from 6:00 to 7:30 at The Richard H. Disque Funeral Home, Inc., 2940 Memorial Highway, Dallas, PA. A memorial service will begin at 7:30 p.m., where family and friends are welcome to share remembrances.



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