After enduring a battle with lung cancer, Louie Clinton Gillespie Jr., 75, of Hayesville, passed away Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 in a Gainesville, Ga. hospital surrounded by the loving presence of his family.
Mr. Gillespie, who went by Clint, was always ready to listen, slow to speak, yet given to great insight when he offered his thoughts. He had a kind of wisdom that came from seeing just about every kind of challenge life had to offer. He made an effort to instill in those who knew him a sense of quietly doing the right thing. His door was always open to friends and often to strangers as. He would give his last dollar to someone in need.
After growing up in the mountains of South Carolina, Clint served his country in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove; worked as an electrician for Southern Bell (later AT&T) and was a ranking member of the Communication Workers of America. He would dress as a clown and visit children in the hospital as part of CWA's outreach efforts. Clint was a notorious prankster, who had a wit as dry as the cups of coffee around him were never allowed to be. He'd startle strangers by bragging about his "time in prison" (working on the phone systems, he'd later reveal). He loved to fish, camp, was a world-class barbecue maestro and could have probably created a map of the U.S. with his favorite restaurants as landmarks, but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his wife, sons, grandchildren and his dogs. His favorite place on earth was the mountains of North Carolina, where he retired, though he enjoyed the company of the sunsets of Port St. Joe, Fla., for a time. He had little time for materialism and emphasized above all the value of love, fellowship and self-reflection.
He was preceded in death by his father, Louie Clinton Gillespie Sr.; and a son, Steven Henry Gillespie.
Surviving are his wife of more than 52 years, Carol Lynn Gillespie; his mother, Geneva Nichols Gillespie; a son, Jonathan Clinton Gillespie ,and his wife, Michelle, of Duluth, Ga.; a sister, Debbie Zink, and her husband, Mike, of Clay County; a brother, Kevin Gillespie, and his wife, Cathy, of Locust Grove, Ga.; brother-in-law, Casey Hill, whom he raised from the age of six, and his wife, Sharon; three granddaughters and other family members.
No services are planned at this time, though the family encourages interested parties to monitor the Ivie Funeral Home website, as further plans are forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in honor of Clint Gillespie to Renewed Hope Ministries, 150 Penny Lane, Murphy, NC 28906. Ivie Funeral Home, Hayesville: www.iviefuneralhome.com is in charge of arrangements.