Donald Edwin Gillespie
Donald Edwin Gillespie
  • May 24, 1924 - April 15, 2017
  • Greensboro, North Carolina

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Donald Edwin Gillespie, St., 92, died Saturday, April 15, at Moses Cone Hospital. There will be a memorial service in First Presbyterian Church on April 29 at 3pm. The family will receive guests afterward in the Virginia Gilmer Room.

Don was born May 24, 1924 in Dallas, Texas and later lived in Austin with his parents Harlie Patterson Gillespie and Ethel Helen Cervin Gillespie. He is predeceased by a brother, Harlie Patterson "Pat" Gillespie, Jr. He is survived by a sister, Shirley Gillespie Dyess.

Don enrolled in the University of Texas in 1942, but soon enlisted as a Navy Air Cadet. Serving in the US Marine Corps for 13 years, he flew Corsairs in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and was a pilot and forward air controller with the 1st Marine Division in Korea. Decorations he received include the Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Commendation Ribbon with Combat "V". Don flew commercial cargo after leaving the service, and entered the accounting field while living in Macon, Georgia. He moved to Greensboro to become a partner in the firm Davenport, Marvin and Caudle. He earned his CPA in 1969 and was a founding member of the Accounting and Review Services Committer of AICPA. He remained self-employed into his 80's.

Don met Isabel Edmunds while both were stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland. They married February 11, 1947 and enjoyed 66 years of marriage before her death. He is survived by their 3 sons, Donald Edwin, Jr., Thomas Edmunds and Carter Bouldin.

Don welcomed 3 daughters-in-law, Virginia, Kay, and Martha, into the family, and recently embraced Peggy into the fold. He became "Papa" and stayed closely connected with his 6 grandchildren and their spouses: Donald Gillespie, III, Emily Gillespie Fitzsimons (Bobby), Rebecca Gillespie Messman (Dave), Katie Gillespie Patterson (Chip), Will Gillespie (Katie), and Sarah Gillespie Ellis (Dwight). He was delighted to be a great-grandfather to Grace, Davis, Taylor, Tommy, Ellie, and Ryan. He loved all his nieces and nephews and took great interest in their lives. Late in life he became more and more connected with his "genealogy cousins" across the country and the world, and eventually reflected on the fact that he was the "eldest member of the clan."

Don was baptized into the Methodist Church in Texas, and he and Isabel were founding members of the Trinity Presbyterian Church of Havelock, NC. He taught Sunday School and was a choir member for many years at Vineville Avenue Presbyterian Church in Macon, Georgia. Don was elected a Deacon of First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, an office that later was converted to Elder. He also served as Church Treasurer for many years. He was perhaps best known by his frequent presence and ardent appreciation for the music program.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church Music Fund, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401.

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