Benn Arnold Gleason, age 100, formerly of Fairy, Texas, passed away Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Waco, TX. Funeral services will be held at Fairy Baptist Church, Fairy, Texas, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Burial will follow at Hico Cemetery. The family will receive visitors at Harvest Hills Funeral Home, Hico, Texas from 6 to 8 pm Tuesday.
Benn Arnold was born at Fairy, Texas October 31, 1915 to Benn Gleason and Aurora Virginia (Alford) Gleason. He graduated from Fairy High School and from Texas A&M University in 1940 with a degree in animal husbandry. He was second generation A&M graduate as his father also graduated Texas A&M, class of 1908.
He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving in the European theater as a Captain in 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division. He received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. After discharge from the US Army, he returned to his home in the Fairy community where he took over the operation of the family farm.
He served on various extension service boards to enhance the relationship between the local farmer/rancher and the US Department of Agriculture. In 1963 he was named the Conservationist of Texas by the Fort Worth Press for his work in farm land preservation and utilization of techniques to enhance productivity.
Benn Arnold was a member of Fairy Baptist Church since childhood and was ordained as a Deacon in 1952. He served his church for many years as a teacher and was treasurer of the church from the mid1960’s through 2005.
He also served on school boards of Fairy Consolidated School District and Hamilton Independent School District. He was an election judge in his precinct continuously from his return to the community in 1945 until 2010.
Benn Arnold was united in marriage on November 16, 1941 to Janie Joiner. She preceded him in death on June 21, 1999. Survivors include daughters Annelle Smith and husband Ron of Rockledge, FL and Merrijo Slovak and husband Robert of Ennis, TX, sons David Gleason and wife Carolyn of Phoenix, AZ and James Gleason and wife Sue of Waco, TX, nine grandchildren Joseph Slovak and wife Angela, John Slovak and wife Wendy, Rebecca Gillentine and husband Robert, Allison Slovak, Alicia Jordan and husband Andy, Kendra Beatty and husband Eric, Benn Gleason, Justin Gleason, Laurin Weicht and husband Tim; twelve great-grandchildren Zachary and Vivian Slovak, Tyler, Jacob and Matthew Slovak, Charley and Robbie Gillentine, Karlie Beatty, Rhyan and Jace Jordan, Rylan and Adelyn Weicht.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fairy Baptist Church, Fairy, TX.