James Gillispie

Obituary of James Dean Gillispie

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Jim Gillispie was born in Falls City, Nebraska on October 9, 1946 and was raised in Lawrence, Kansas. He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1964 and then attended University of Kansas.  While at KU, he was on the gymnastics team and his specialty was the pommel horse. He graduated with a BA in Physical Education in 1968.  With a desire to serve, he joined the US Air Force that same year.  He was a C-130 pilot for the Air Force and retired in 1988 as a Major after 20 years of service. 


Jim married Debbie Elliott on January 25, 1969 and they had two daughters: Teri Markle and Mary Esquivel.  They later divorced.  Jim married Mary Vivian Zander on May 13, 1995.  Jim and Mary Vivian were very active at St. George Episcopal Church in Belleville, Illinois where they resided.  Jim was a valued and loved member of their church.  He was a Vestry member and a Eucharistic Visitor, administering communion to the homes of shut-ins.  He did numerous kind and thoughtful things for so many people.


Jim and Mary Viv especially loved taking road trips on their Harley.  They particularly enjoyed spending time in Austin, Texas where their two daughters and their families reside.  They loved being grandparents so much so that they would drive the 843 miles from Belleville to Austin each summer to spend quality time with their grandchildren: Alejandro, Leonardo and Reese.  


Jim was preceded in death by his parents: Jim and Mildred Gillispie of Lawrence, Kansas.  He is survived by his wife Mary Vivian Gillispie of Belleville, Illinois.  In addition he is survived by his two daughters: Teri Markle (Britt) and Mary Esquivel (Alex) and three grandchildren: Alejandro Esquivel, Leonardo Esquivel and Reese Markle, all of Austin, Texas.  He was much loved by his 8 surviving siblings: Jeff Gillispie (Jacque), Maggie Heeter (David), Bill Gillispie, Mary Brand, Cleo Murphy (Tom), Mike Gillispie (Barbara), Patti Green (Tom), and Howard Gillispie (Mickie).  He was also loved and will be missed by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.


Funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 2nd at 3:00pm at St. George Episcopal Church in Belleville, Illinois.



3:00 pm
Sunday, July 2, 2023
St. George Episcopal Church
105 E D St
Belleville, Illinois, United States
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James Gillispie

In Loving Memory

James Gillispie

1946 - 2023

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