CRYSTAL FALLS - William "Bill" R. Gillespie, 77, of Crystal Falls, passed away Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at the Iron County Medical Care Facility in Crystal Falls.
He was born May 10, 1936, in Escanaba, son of the late Robert and Nancy (Delph) Gillespie. Bill grew up in Ralph, and attended school there. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a master sergeant.
Bill married Lois Fillis on April 25, 1959, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Crystal Falls. They resided in Kenosha, Wis., where Bill worked for American Motors in the paint department, they moved back to Crystal Falls in 1966. While living in Crystal Falls, Bill worked on the construction crew that helped build Crystal Falls High School. He later went to work for F. Dohmen Pharmaceutical Co. as a driver throughout the Upper Peninsula.
Bill was an active member of the Sagola Township Sportsman's Club in Channing. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, training his beagles to hunt and being outdoors. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Lois; two daughters, Rita (Todd) Halamka of Muskego, Wis. and Lisa Tomczak of Madison, Wis.; one sister, Marie (Charles) Gage, of California; four grandchildren, Benjamin (Amber) Brown, Ethan (Jenny) Brown, Kelsa Tomczak and John Tomczak ; one great-grandson, Austin; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by four brothers, David, Vernon (Bud), George and Leonard Gillespie and two sisters, Virginia Barvetto and Clara Heller and one grandson, Ryan Brown.
Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home in Crystal Falls. The Eastside Veteran's Council will offer a pass and review on Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
Prayers will be recited Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home. The funeral Mass will be celebrated, Friday at 11 a.m. at Guardian Angels Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Kurtz will officiate.
Burial will be in Evergreen Memorial in Crystal Falls in the spring.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Bill or leave a condolence for his family online at www.JacobsFuneralHomes.com
The family has chosen the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home in Crystal Falls to honor Bill's Legacy of Life.