Most of you who follow my blog know that my grandmother died last week. We called her Chuck. I've been wanting to write something about her because she was such a wonderful person. However, there is just too much to say. I decided to post a copy of her obituary that my dad wrote. Here it is below.
Charlice Gillespie was born Charlice Minter in Greenville, MS on January 14, 1924, and died Wednesday, April 1, 2009. She grew up in the small Delta town of Inverness where her father was the railroad station manager. She, along with her parents, occupied the small apartment overlying the depot located in the center of town.
Although she left Inverness at the age of 16 to attend Belhaven College,her small town background had a profound effect on her personality and outlook on the world. To her the world was always a very personable place. She was interested in the people she met. Even in brief encounters with store clerks, cashiers, bank tellers and others she would come away with details about their families and interests and would always remember their names.
She graduated from Belhaven College and received her masters degree in speech from the University of Denver. She returned to Belhaven to teach and it was there that she met her future husband, George Gillespie, whose father was serving as president of the college. After their marriage in 1948 the couple moved to New Orleans where George Gillespie completed a surgical residency at the Oschner Clinic.
They returned to Jackson to live and raise a family and built a home in the Belhaven neighborhood where Mrs. Gillespie lived for the next 45 years until ill health forced her to move to an assisted living facility.
Mrs. Gillespie was active in the community and especially active in her church where she served in many capacities. She was known especially for her effective Bible teaching and faithful prayer life. Her legacy is in the lives she touched. Her oldest grandaughter wrote this about her grandmother just a few days before she died: "We have always had a special relationship and her delight in me has had a great impact on my life. She has modeled to me what Jesus's love for his children is like. One day I hope to be a grandmother just like her."
Mrs. Gillespie, known to many as "Chuck", was preceeded in death by her husband, Dr. Geoge Gillespie, in 1989, and by her son-in-law, Alex Beck, in 1978.
Survivors include her three children, Lynn Beck, Barry Gillespie (Laurie), and Virginia O'Connell (Mike) and her five grandchildren Sarah Barry Spooner (Stephen), Lucy Freeman (Nick), George Gillespie, Ann O'Connell and Elizabeth O'Connell.
Memorials may be made to MS Delta Young Life, P.O. Box 6074, Greenville, MS 38704 or to Reformed University Ministries, 1700 North Brown Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043.
The family would like to thank all family and friends both in Jackson, Greenville and elsewhere who were faithful to visit, to call, to write and to pray.
The family would also like to thank the aides, nurses and staff at Washington Care Center in Greenville for their attentive and compassionate care.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 3, 2009, at 11 am at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS. Visitation will take place today from 5-7 pm at the O'Connell's and also at 10 am Friday at the church preceeding the service. Burial will be at Lakewood Memorial Cemetery.
Published in the Clarion Ledger on 4/2/2009