Temple University basketball coach Fran Dunphy recalled John C. "Butch" Gleason as "one of those kindhearted guys who want to do good for others."
Mr. Gleason and Dunphy graduated as classmates in 1970 at La Salle University.
Dunphy noted that he is one of six coaches in Philadelphia "who stage many events over the course of a year" as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer program. It is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches "to raise funds and awareness," its website states.
Mr. Gleason, Dunphy said, "looked at our Coaches vs. Cancer program and wanted to be a part of it, and introduced the program down at Ocean City High School" at the Jersey Shore.
Added Dunphy: "He was a good man."
Mr. Gleason, 66, of Marlton, a retired sales manager for what is now Philip Morris USA, died of complications from heart problems on Monday, Dec. 8, at Virtua Marlton medical center.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Gleason graduated from Ocean City High in 1966, where he was a sophomore member of the 1964 state championship basketball team, daughter Melissa said.
At Atlantic City's Convention Hall in March of that year, the team beat North Arlington, 76-51, to earn the Group II state championship.
After earning a bachelor's degree in business administration at La Salle, he taught business classes at West Deptford High School and coached basketball there and at Glassboro State College, his daughter said.
Mr. Gleason began his Philip Morris career in 1976 as a traveling sales representative in South Jersey and retired in 2004 as the tobacco division manager in Berwyn. But he did not let his career interfere with his affection for sports.
At times from the 1980s into this decade, he was a weekend reporter of high school sports for radio station WOND-AM near Atlantic City, his daughter said.
Since 2009, she said, Mr. Gleason had helped stage an annual Coaches vs. Cancer game at Ocean City High.
And for the last five years, Mr. Gleason and son Matthew traveled across the nation to see baseball and football games at several big league stadiums.
Besides his daughter and son, Mr. Gleason is survived by his wife, Denise; son John; a sister, and a granddaughter.
Viewings were set from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at the Healey Funeral Home, 9 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, and 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at St. Anastasia Church, 3301 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there. Interment is to be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, Delaware County.
Donations may be sent to Archbishop Damiano School, 1145 Delsea Dr., Westville, N.J. 08093, or to www.adsschool.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.healeyfuneralhomes.com.