Alexander Gillespie Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Alexander William "Bill" Gil" Gillespie

Obituary

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Alexander William (Bill), (Gil) Gillespie, LCol. (Rtd), O.M.M, C.D, (81) on June 28 at the Halifax Infirmary, due to complications from surgery. Born in Brockville, ON. Bill was the only son of the late William and Maude L. (Gorman) Gillespie and the beloved baby brother to Mary Waymouth (deceased), Dorathy Hutton (deceased), Marjorie Jackson (Alberta) and adopted sister, Soyie. The family moved to Hamilton, ON shortly after his birth where Bill attended various schools. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy as an Ordinary Seaman in October, 1950. In 1952 he transferred to the Naval Air...
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Alexander William (Bill), (Gil) Gillespie, LCol. (Rtd), O.M.M, C.D, (81) on June 28 at the Halifax Infirmary, due to complications from surgery. Born in Brockville, ON. Bill was the only son of the late William and Maude L. (Gorman) Gillespie and the beloved baby brother to Mary Waymouth (deceased), Dorathy Hutton (deceased), Marjorie Jackson (Alberta) and adopted sister, Soyie. The family moved to Hamilton, ON shortly after his birth where Bill attended various schools. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy as an Ordinary Seaman in October, 1950. In 1952 he transferred to the Naval Air Branch and was trained as an Air Fitter at H.M.C.S. Shearwater. After training, Bill served on various Naval Air Squadrons on both coasts and ships, including H.M.C.S. Magnificent for Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953 and with the first United Nation's Peace Keeping Mission to Egypt in 1956. In 1976 he was commissioned as a Captain (AERE) and served as the Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Officer in 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, CFB Petawawa, 1978 to 1981. In 1981, he was transferred to N.D.H.Q. as the Aircraft Project Officer for the CH-147 Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopter. Promoted Major in 1982, he was chosen for exchange duties at the United States Naval Aircraft Repair Facilities, Pensacola, Florida as the H-1, H-2, and H-3 Project Officer. On returning to Canada in 1984, he was assigned duties as Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the Sea King Helicopter at CFB Shearwater. In 1986, Bill was promoted LCol. and was transferred to N.D.H.Q. as Section Head of D.D.D.S. 2. On his release in 1988, Bill went to work for I.M.P. Group Aerospace Division as Director of Aircraft Programs and in 1989 was promoted to Vice President of Aircraft Production. Bill retired from the I.M.P. Group in 1992 to spend more time at the lake with his wife June and to play hockey and swim with his grandchildren whom he adored.
Bill was a community-oriented individual from the days of his youth when he organized an outdoor rink in his community, to later in life, when he became a Cub Leader, Volunteer Fireman, Little League Coach, President of the Rate Payers Association, and President of a swim club. In retirement, he was President of his Parish Council, Chairperson of his Church's Annual Picnic and organized and ran the Neighbourhood Watch Program in Mineville, NS. He was also Past-President of the Shearwater Aviation Museum to which he was an avid volunteer.
Although Bill's favourite sport was hockey, which he played until his late sixties, he obtained his greatest sports achievement while playing football for the Shearwater Flyers of the Nova Scotia Senior Canadian Football League when they won the Maritime Championship in 1952. His second love was swimming and for years he could be found at the Shearwater or Naden pools teaching youngsters and adults how to swim safely.
He is survived by his much loved and loving wife of 60 years, June Marie (MacDonald), daughters Jacqueline (Brian) White, Patricia (Craig) MacDonald, Sandra Gillespie, and Donna Gillespie (York Friesen); sister, Marjorie Jackson (Calgary, AB); his nine grandchildren, Brenton, Sean, and Nicholas MacDonald (Dartmouth, NS), Lindsey and Kyle White (Toronto and Australia), and Conor, Jessica, Noah and Riley Gillespie-Friesen (Dartmouth) as well as one great grandchild, Gavin MacDonald; numerous nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces. Thank you to the Doctors and nurses of 5.1 and 7.1 Halifax Infirmary, Q E II for their special care. Visitation will take place on Wednesday July 2, from 2-4 and 7-9 pm in A. L. Mattatall Funeral Home, 217 Portland St., Dartmouth. Funeral service will take place in St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, 10 Maple St., at 10 am on Thursday, July 3, with reception to follow immediately in the Shearwater Aviation Museum, 34 Bonaventure Ave. Burial at a later date. Family flowers only. Donations may be made to the Shearwater Aviation Museum or charity of your choice.

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"Sorry for your loss, I served with Bill and we ran into one another throughout our careers. It is strange how things work out, as I retired in 2001 and now..."

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