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Obituaries » Clifton Clay Gillespie Jr.

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May 25, 1927 - November 8, 2017

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11am on Monday, November 13th at the Light & Life Wesleyan Church, 15765 Hoffman Street, Three Rivers MI where Jack and Lee are members. A time of visiting will take place at the church one hour prior to the service. A committal service with full military honors will be in Summer 2018 at Ft. Custer National Cemetery.

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WWII Veteran Clifton Clay “Jack” Gillespie, Jr., passed away on November 8, 2017 at the age of 90. He was born on May 25, 1927, to Clifton and Caroline (Dennington) Gillespie in Malden, Missouri. He attended high school in Flint, Michigan, before enlisting in 1945. He was a Corporal in the Air Force, serving in the Berlin Airlift. He also enlisted in the Army, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. Jack was honorably discharged in 1948, and again in 1953. Thereafter, he served in the National Guard. Jack’s lifelong passion was flying. He earned his pilot’s license at age 16. He was a private pilot for Sen. Jack Welborn (R-MI) in the 1980s. A member of the U.A.W. Local 1102, he worked in Skilled Trades as a millwright at Fisher Body General Motors/Kalamazoo, retiring in 1979. Always an adventurer, he then launched into diverse interests from gold panning in Alaska to beekeeping to entrepreneurship with his Gillespie Enterprises, LLC. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Quiet Birdmen, Michigan Sheriff’s Assoc., Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Assoc., Experimental Aircraft Assoc., and American Legion of Schoolcraft. He was active in voluntary service with the fire and rescue departments in Swartz Creek and Vicksburg when he resided in those communities. Jack was on the board of the Three Rivers Airport. He was enormously proud of his family. He is survived by his loving wife, Leota Ross Gillespie; brother, Don Gillespie; sister, MaryBeth Wrubel; children: Clifton III (Jeanine) Gillespie, Charlene (Sam) Williams, Suzanne (Greg) Goff, Leeanne (Tom) Seaver, and Jack (Kathleen) Gillespie; grandchildren: Megan (Brad) Story, Jennifer (Troy) Clark, Rebecca Gillespie, Samantha (John) Ockerman, John Thomas (Allison) Gillespie; Randi (Leben) Mjos, Ashley (Jedidiah) Edenstrom, Jason (Michele), Ryan (Ramsie), and Nathaniel Goff, Dane, Dakota, and Makena Seaver, Amy Gillespie and Katherine (Scott) Dreyer; great-grandchildren: Hunter, Jaeden, and Liam Story, Ethan Gillespie and Madison Swartz, Shelby Ockerman, Jonathan, Mason, and Logan Gillespie, Luci and Tobias Mjos, Isaac, Ariel, and Naomi Edenstrom, Branson and Luke Webb, Laney, Porter, Gunner, and Gavin Goff, Elizabeth and Jameson Dreyer. He was honorary Grandpa to Michael and Kristina Fegan, Michael Cerny and many others. Jack was preceded in death by his parents; son, John; brothers, John and Bob, and grandchildren, Adam Goff and Angela Webb.