James A, Gillespie
Captain, SC, USN, Ret.

Pensacola, Florida

James Alwin Gillespie
Fair Winds and Following Seas.....

James (Jim) Gillespie, Captain, United States Navy, Retired, age 90, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Friday, December 31, 2021.

Captain Gillespie was born January 22, 1931 in Memphis, TN. He graduated from Christian Brothers College, High School Department in 1948 and accepted a NROTC Scholarship to Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, graduating in 1952 with a BS in Organic Chemistry. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the United States Navy as a Supply Corps Officer. During his 30-year career of dedicated naval service, he earned the following awards and decorations: Defense Superior Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal (Gold Star and Combat V); Meritorious Unit Commendation (Bronze Star); National Defense Service Medal (Bronze Star); National Defense Service Medal (Bronze Star); Korean Service Medal (Bronze Star); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea); United Nations Service Medal (Korea); Vietnam Service Medal (3 Bronze Stars); Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal First Class; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Ribbon and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Captain Gillespie attended Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, conferring a Master of Science degree in Operations Analysis in 1964.

Captain Gillespie proudly served his country aboard various naval installations and ships: NSC Oakland, USS SKAGIT (AKA 105), USS ZELLARS (DD 777), NAS Memphis, NS RODMAN (Canal Zone, Panama), NAS Patuxent River, US Naval Postgraduate School, Fleet Material Support Office (Mechanicsburg, PA), Naval War College (Newport, RI), USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64)-San Diego, CA, Defense Construction Supply Center (Columbus, OH), OIC, NAVTRACOM Data Services Center, NAS Pensacola and Defense Logistics Agency, DCSC (Columbus, OH). Captain Gillespie retired in October of 1981.

After his retirement, Captain Gillespie earned a Master of Education from the University of West Florida. He volunteered his time at Little Flower Catholic Church, serving as lector for several years and spent countless hours tending to his home garden. He was most proud of his involvement in the dedication of the Korean War Memorial in downtown Pensacola, FL.

Captain Gillespie was preceded in death by his parents, Susan (Miltimore) and Alvin James Gillespie, and his four siblings, Dr. Sara (Gillespie) Folis and Paul Folis, Mary Sue (Gillespie) Gatti, Jean Ellen (Gillespie) and George Shemwell and William (Bill) Gillespie, all of Memphis, TN. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Kathleen (Kay) Kingscote Gillespie; four children, Gwen Gillespie of Canon City, CO, Mark and Jennifer Gillespie of Hockley, TX, Mary (Gillespie) and Dale Tharp and Sara (Gillespie) and Dr. Mickey Daum of Pensacola, FL; seven grandchildren Dawn Gillespie, Brian Gillespie, Alex (Allison) Gillespie, Madeline (Edwin) Vasquez, Megan Tharp (Dylan Wheeler), Cassandra Daum and Cody Daum and four great grandsons, AJ, Brody, Kade and Jett. His sister in law, Patricia (Pat) Gillespie of Memphis, TN and numerous nieces and nephews also survive him.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, January 12 at Little Flower Catholic Church, Myrtle Grove. Burial, with Military Honors, will be at 11 AM at Barrancas National Cemetery aboard NAS Pensacola. Oak Lawn Funeral Home, 619 N New Warrington Rd is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to Catholic Charities or to the charity of your choice.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all his caregivers associated with The Verandas, Your Life Pensacola and Emerald Coast Hospice.

Posted online on January 11, 2022

Published in Pensacola News Journal