Lt Col John Robert Gillespie, USAF (Ret)
August 5, 1934 - Saturday, November 23, 2019
John Robert Gillespie passed away on Saturday, November 23, 2019 in Sterling, Va. He was born in Roanoke, Va. on August 5, 1934 to E. Joseph Gillespie and Margaret Dineen Gillespie. He was one of ten children and known as Bobby to his family.
John graduated from Roanoke Catholic High School and Virginia Tech and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the US Air Force. He later earned his Masters degree from VA Tech and also obtained his CPA certification.
He had various assignments at Columbus, Ohio, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., prior to completing training at Ft Benning, Ga. to become a Black Beret (Tactical Air Control Party). He then completed a tour in Vietnam.
Retiring from the service as a Lt. Colonel he spent the rest of his 35 working years at the General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C. He also taught accounting at George Mason University.
John was compassionate, generous and thoughtful. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Joseph A. and James P. (Nancy); and two sisters, Mary G. Hardie (Jack) and Cecelia G. Crotts (Ray).
Surviving are four sisters, Nora G. Weikel, Elizabeth G. Deane (Kevin), Sara G. Rakestraw (B.H.), Helena Gillespie, all of Roanoke and one brother, Michael L. Gillespie (Alice) of Fredericksburg; sister-in-law, Charlotte Garst; many nieces, nephews and special friends, Mary and Drew Taylor.
A memorial service will be held at Fort Myers, Va. on Thursday, November 19, 2020, followed by internment, with a full military service, at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Published by Roanoke Times on Nov. 17, 2020.