521 East Main Street | Niles, MI | 49120
Obituary of William Gillespie Sr.
He was born on September 21, 1934, to the late John A. Gillespie and Neceda (Hogan) Gillespie in Helena, Arkansas. After moving to Benton Harbor, he met and married the former Gretchen L. Pierce and together they raised ten children. William was a longtime member of the Second Baptist Church in Benton Harbor, under the leadership of Reverend Donald B. Adkins, Emeritus. He was very involved in mentoring the youth of Benton Harbor. He would often draw from his own experiences as a Golden Glove Boxer, and as a baseball player to teach other young men.
For many years he served as the Director of the Benton Harbor Little League and was a coach for the Minor & Little League Giants. William passed his love of sports and being involved on to his children.
William went home to his eternal reward, on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
William was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife of fifty-five years, Gretchen Gillespie, children, Larry Smith, Robert Gillespie, and Michelle Gillespie; grandchildren, Sherrie Gillespie and Lester Young; and siblings, Amatullah El-Amin and John, Oscar, and Sylvester Gillespie.
He is survived by his children, Don (Roxie) Pierce of Tacoma, Washington, Craig (Anna) Johnson of Flint, Michigan, William (Sandra) Gillispie of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Mike (Susan) Gillespie of Benton Harbor, Vincent Gillespie of Benton Harbor, Judy Scott of Natchez, Mississippi, and Joann Young of Benton Harbor; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and sisters, Earlene Searcy and Helen Hall.
A homegoing service will be at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at the Second Baptist Church, 600 Donald Adkins Dr., with a time of visitation beginning one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Crystal Springs Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife.
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