Charles E. Gleason, daughter Bertha P. Gleason, 8 North 50 West
The Organ Department of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music honors the legacy of Professor Emeritus Dr. Oswald Gleason Ragatz, who led the Jacobs School organ department for over 40 years and died earlier this year. Prominent Chicago area keyboardist David Schrader (MM '76, DM '87), a former student of Dr. Ragatz, said, "I earned most of a master's degree and all of a doctorate under the conscientious tutelage of Dr. Oswald G. Ragatz. I…immediately enjoyed his down-to-earth rationales for approaching the organ. His thorough syllabus has taught many fine organists-Ozzie enjoyed teaching. If I was a bit of a black sheep in IU's department, he never let me know it and befriended me during a difficult period in my life. I shall always be grateful to him for his humor, grace, and solicitude. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!"
Oswald Ragatz, Professor Emeritus of Music, was born October 30, 1917, the son of Bertha (Gleason) and Benjamin Ragatz. He grew up in Sterling, Colorado, where he graduated as valedictorian from high school in 1935. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Denver University, the Master of Arts from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California. Additional graduate study was done in New York City at the Julliard School of Music and the Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music. While in Denver, he played oboe in the Denver Civic Symphony and was organist at Broadway Baptist Church.
Dr. Ragatz came to Indiana University in 1942 as instructor of Organ and Theory. Over the ensuing years, the Organ Department, with a faculty of four, grew to include as many as fifty-five organ majors, both undergraduate and graduate. When he retired after forty-one years as Chairman of the Organ Department at Indiana University, over seventy of his graduates held teaching posts in institutions of higher learning. Many former students also hold important positions in churches in the United States and abroad. He also had brief teaching posts at Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa., and at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
As a concert artist he was heard in nearly every state in the Union as well as in Europe and the Far East. In addition to teaching and concertizing, Dr. Ragatz held posts as organist-choirmaster in Rochester and Scarsdale, New York, and in Indiana, including ten years at First Methodist Church and twenty-five years at First Presbyterian Church, both in Bloomington. He was consultant for new organs in numerous churches throughout the Midwest. He wrote Organ Technique: A Basic Course of Study, a widely used text/anthology published by the Indiana University Press and republished by T.I.S. Music publishers.
After his retirement in 1983, Dr. Ragatz continued his interest in musical pursuits, and he wrote two mystery novels, published by Authorhouse. He was active in the First Christian Church in Bloomington and served on the board of directors at the Center for University Ministries for a number of years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Louise (Christena), by a daughter, Kathryn Anne, and grandsons, Michael and Brooke. His living descendents include his daughter Elizabeth (Beth/Christa) Christena Ragatz (and husband, Jack Van Der Wege) of Burnsville, MN, Gary Allen Ragatz (and wife, Paula) of Danville, IN, Gail Annette Ragatz (and partner, Mary Duncan), of McConnelsville, OH, Gina Alice Dubyak (and husband, Bruce), of Stuart, FL, Steven Andrew Ragatz (and wife, Lisa), of Bloomington, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Charles Thomas Gleason, age 89 who practiced law for 51 years and having served two terms as Judge of the Speedway Magistrate Court, passed away October 10, 2016. He was a faithful member of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church since 1941.
He was born February 5, 1927 in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of the late Charles F. and Grace E. Gleason. The family moved to Indianapolis in 1940. He graduated in 1944 from Shortridge High School. He enrolled at Purdue University and initiated into Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. In 1945 during World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received an honorable discharge in 1946 as a Yeoman Third Class. He matriculated at Indiana University, Bloomington, and received his Bachelors of Science degree in Business.
During his undergraduate years he participated in "Phi Delt" intramural sports, Skull and Crescent Sophomore Honorary, a member of the Indiana University track team as a "walk-on" and received his "I" letter. "Chuck", to which he was commonly referred, never lost his avid interest in sports, always amazing his friends with his encyclopedic recall of sports figures of the past.
He entered the Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington and then transferred to the I.U. law school at Indianapolis, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, received his law degree, admitted to the Indiana bar in December, 1952, and was qualified to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
He was a co-founding partner of the law firm Ober, Tuohy and Gleason. The firm later merged with Schortemeier, Eby and Wood, which changed its name to Wood, Tuohy, Gleason, Mercer and Herrin. Having no male siblings, Chuck considered Jim Tuohy and Bill Wood as his "brothers". He retired from the practice of law in 1995.
Mr. Gleason devoted much of his career to public service. He was appointed by Prosecutor Frank Fairchild as a deputy county prosecutor and was re-appointed by John G. Tinder. Subsequently, he served as attorney for the Indianapolis Board of Zoning Appeals and as a Referee of the Marion County Juvenile Court.
On April 13, 1965, Governor Roger Branigan appointed and re-appointed Judge Gleason to the Speedway Magistrate Court. During his two terms, Judge Gleason took particular interest in working with prosecutors and defense attorneys in giving positive direction to troubled youths. His colleagues called him "Good Charlie" Gleason.
Judge Gleason was appointed Vice-Chairman and Hearing Judge of the Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission on February 11, 1969 by Governor Edgar Whitcomb and thereafter appointed Commissioner of the Indiana Uniform Commercial Code by Secretary of State, William Salin. He served as Deputy Corporation Counsel of Indianapolis from 1971 to 1976.
Judge Gleason served his profession as a board member of the Indiana Lawyers Commission, on Region V of the Criminal Justice Planning Agency and on the Marion County Municipal Court Nominating Commission.
He was a member of Centre Lodge #23, Ancient Order of Scottish Rite and the Murat Shrine.
At Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, he taught Sunday school and served as a deacon and elder. In 1970, he became an original member of the John Knox Covenant group associated with the church. He made his Christian faith an integral part of his life and was a fervent believer in ecumenism.
Chuck maintained a life-long interest in music, particularly classical, jazz, and gospel. He had a keen interest in agro-economics and would enjoy a perfect day at Anderson Orchard in Mooresville picking apples and raspberries.
His first wife Betty "B.J." Gleason preceded Judge Gleason in death October 10, 1991. Their three children, Clint T. Gleason, Charla Jean Gleason Carey, and Todd S. Gleason (Holly) and two grandsons, Kyle S. Gleason and Matthew S. Gleason (Nicole), and great grandson, Theodore Jacob Gleason, sister, Florence "Dovey" West (Richard A.) and several nephews and nieces.
On November 28, 1998, he married Sue Roberts Fackler Gleason who survives, with his two stepchildren, Carol M. Marianangeli and Bret W. Fackler and four step-grandchildren, Justin Fackler and Evan, (Le'Chele) Brady and Emily Marinangeli and great granddaughter, Cassandra Fackler.
Family and friends will gather at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 15th at 10a.m. to 11a.m. with services following. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Leppert Mortuary/Nora Chapel. Internment will be at Crown Hill Cemetery.
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