Thomas J. Gillespie
Thomas J. Gillespie, 79, beloved husband of Donna S. (Hall) Gillespie and
lifelong resident of Ipswich, passed away peacefully at his home
surrounded by his loving family, on September 24, 2020 after a long
Born in Ipswich on October 14, 1940, Tom was the
son of the late Clarence and Bertha I. (Scott) Gillespie and the beloved
son-in-law of the late Mark and Clara Hall of Phoenix, AZ.
attended Ipswich public schools, graduating Ipswich High School in the
Class of 1958.
Upon graduation Tom enlisted in the United
States Army and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany where he was a
Military Police Officer in the 529th
MP. He had the distinguished honor to serve as a member of the platoon
that was selected to protect President Eisenhower at the summit
conferences in Paris France in 1959. While stationed in Heidelberg he met
his wife Donna who was also serving at the U.S. 8th
After just one dance, they knew they would spend
the rest of their lives together.
Tom and Donna were married in Ipswich on
June 24, 1961.
Tom had many careers over the years including
several military related civilian positions with Sylvania, Raytheon and
He and Donna owned and operated the
former Wilcomb’s Store, later a food service business, and for many years
they prepared and sold crab and lobster rolls at the annual Topsfield
After recovering from his first heart
attack in the early 1980’s, Tom went back to trade school to become an
He completed his education and training
as a Master Electrician.
Tom and his youngest son Mark worked many
years together as electricians until his illness made it necessary for him
to retire in 2010.
Over the years Tom enjoyed boating, fishing and
hunting with his friends and family but his passion was golf. He enjoyed
playing competitively but also with his wife and all three children.
Tom was an avid Patriots fan and most
Sunday afternoons in the Fall were spent with his wife, daughter and
son-in-law watching the game and having a Sunday Dinner.
In addition to being an electrician, Tom
could fix or build just about anything and he passed that knowledge and
those skills along to his oldest son, and namesake, Tommy.
Tom had many pets over the years and there would
always be a dog at his feet or a cat on his lap.
Most recently you could see him walking
his beloved little dog Dollie at one of the neighborhood parks.
Tom was a member of the John T. Heard Lodge where he was made a Master
Mason in 1963. On September 14, 2020, in a lovely ceremony in his home,
brethren from the lodge presented Tom with a medal honoring fifty years of
faithful service to the lodge and his masonic brothers.
In addition to his wife Donna of fifty-nine
years, he is survived by a daughter, Cheryl L. Gorniewicz and her husband
Benjie of Ipswich, two sons, Thomas S. Gillespie and his wife Melissa of
Allentown, NH and
M. Gillespie and his companion Lisa Teele of Ipswich.
He was the beloved grandfather of four,
Nicholas Pappas and his wife Liz of RI, Mariah Gillespie and her companion
Patrick Terry of OR, Alesandra Gillespie and her companion Joey Nickerson
of Essex and Jacqueline Gillespie and her companion Jack Davis of Ipswich.
He had a very special bond with his great nephew, Brock Peirce of CA.
Tom was also blessed with three great
grandchildren, Nick, Bella and William,
three nieces, Kellie Gillespie and
Marcene “Gigi” Pierce both of CA and Diane Gillespie of NH, a brother,
James Gillespie of NY, one nephew, Jerry Hall of AZ, and three great
nieces, Paris, Daniel and Taylor all of CA. In addition to his parents,
Tom was predeceased by his brother, Jack Gillespie; his uncle, Lloyd Scott
and his aunt and uncle Marguerite and Joe Whalen.
A private funeral service will be held Tuesday,
September 29 at Our Lady of Hope Church, 1 Pineswamp Road, Ipswich. Burial
with military honors will be held at the Highland Cemetery at a later
date. Visiting hours will be Monday 6 to 8 pm in the Whittier-Porter
Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Family and friends attending are
required to wear masks and maintain social distancing as required by
current COVID-19 regulations.
contributions in his name may be made to Living Faith United Methodist
Church, 31 North Main Street, Ipswich, MA 01938 or Care Dimensions, 75
Sylvan Street, B-102, Danvers, MA 01923.
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