John Joseph (Jack) Gillespie, age 98, of Winston-Salem passed away at his home on Thursday, February 13, 2020. He was born November 1, 1921 in Girardville, PA to the late Lawrence and Sylvania Meredith Gillespie. He graduated from St. Michael's High School in Girardville before joining the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He worked several years in the CCC helping to construct Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and then in Glacier National Park. He returned to Pennsylvania to work in Pittsburgh before joining the Army Air Corps in WW Il. After graduating from radar maintenance school, he was stationed on Attu in the Aleutian Islands for the remainder of the war. After the war he was a contract worker for an electrical engineering firm in Bayonne, NJ when he met the love of his life, Betty Schirmer, whom he married on Valentine's Day in 1948. After working in New Jersey and Pennsylvania he came south to Winston-Salem, NC in 1950 to work as a technical writer for Western Electric. He attended St. Leo Catholic Church before becoming a founding charter member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. After his retirement from Western Electric he spent his time traveling with his wife, tending his garden, fishing, and growing grapes and making wine. He was one of the original founders of Germanton Winery. He was the last surviving member of his family. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth in 2016, 6 brothers, and a beloved grandson, Sean Gillespie.
He is survived by his 9 children, Thomas Gillespie, Winston-Salem; Patricia (Larry) Sarvis, Winston-Salem; Susan (Michael) Tuttle. Belmont, NC; Paul (Jenelle) Gillespie, Ventura, CA; Gregory Gillespie, Winston-Salem; Teresa (Myron) James, Lexington, NC; Catherine (Timothy) Atkins, Madison, NC; Andrew Gillespie, Winston-Salem; and Frederick Gillespie, Spruce Pine, NC; his grandchildren, Michelle (Tim) Goelzer, Fort Mill, SC; Bradley (Krissy) Tuttle, Indianapolis, IN; Nichole Gillespie, Ventura, CA.; Benjamin James, Winston-Salem, NC; Deidre James, Winston-Salem, NC; Allison (Bryan) Petschul, Eden, NC; Brandon Atkins, Madison, NC; and 3 great-grandchildren, Rachel and Landon Goelzer and Clayton Tuttle.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 AM Monday, February 17, 2020 at Parklawn Memorial Park with Fr. Carl Zdancewicz O.F.M. Conv. officiating. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Sunday, February 16, 2020 at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel. The family wants to thank Trellis Supportive Care of Winston-Salem for their wonderful care and assistance. We would also like to thank the ladies from Home Loving Healthcare for their help. Memorials may be made to Trellis Supportive Care, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com .
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