Obituary of Elizabeth Ann Gillespie
Our beloved Mom and friend Elizabeth Ann McLeod Gillespie, Vancouver, was released from her weak and shaky body Friday, March 3, 2023, and is now rejoicing in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as being reunited with her one and only love, Frank. She was 96 years old.
Elizabeth was born June 13, 1926 in Painesville, OH, to Dan and Carrie (Churchill) McLeod, joining older sister Mary. Elizabeth has many happy memories of growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood and small town where she graduated from high school with many that she'd known since elementary school. She went to college at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH, and then transferred to Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, graduating as an RN in 1950.
Elizabeth traveled as a nurse with friend Jane for 15 months 1952-53 living and working in six different U.S. cities. They took many fun side trips, like several times to the Grand Canyon. Besides working as a nurse, she also taught nursing at University of Michigan for a couple of years. It was there she met the four friends that she and Jane went with to Europe for four months in 1956.
When she came home for Christmas of 1956, the matchmakers had already been at work and planned a New Year's Eve party so she could have her first date with Frank Gillespie. Frank knew pretty quickly Elizabeth was the girl of his dreams and they married October 26, 1957 in Painesville. Frank was Elizabeth's one and only love.
After having one daughter, Ann, in Painesville, Frank brought his family to Camas in 1960 so he could work at Crown Zellerbach Research Lab. Two more daughters were added to the family, Susan and Nancy. Elizabeth was a wonderful wife and mother taking good care of her family and teaching her girls how to be trustworthy, loyal, honest and caring. As was normal at that time, she stopped working as a nurse when they married, but never stopped being a great nurse to her family and the neighborhood. By the time Nancy was in high school, she took a refresher course and went back to work at Bess Kaiser Hospital for 13 ½ years before retiring in 1991.
Elizabeth's life was full of adventure and friendships. She kept in touch with most of her friends throughout their lives, making each one feel special and loved. She was also a wonderful grandmother to Ann's three children and Nancy's daughter. She took thoughtful and loving care of Frank as his health started to change with the diagnosis of Parkinson's in 2003. She about ran herself ragged caring for him and the house before they moved into Green Meadows Care Home in February 2013. Even there she worked hard to do all she could for him until he passed in May 2017.
Then Elizabeth moved in with oldest daughter Ann, thankful to have Susan and Nancy nearby. Elizabeth continued to keep in touch with old friends, go to Bible study and church, until her health got too frail to do much. She loved going through her old papers, letters and pictures. Reliving so much of her adventures made her days more meaningful. She always liked to accomplish something every day and liked doing for others. In one last act of selflessness, she donated her brain to the Essential Tremor (ET) study, which started at Yale University then moved to University of Texas. She hoped that, if she had to live with ET all her life, maybe someone could learn something to help find a cure.
She was predeceased by her "ever-lovin'" husband of 59 years, Frank, and beloved special-needs granddaughter, Carrie Glasscock. She is survived by her three daughters, Ann Mitchell of Vancouver, Susan (Cris) Martinez of Camas, and Nancy (Lyle) Glasscock of Vancouver; grandchildren, Brandon (Laura) Mitchell of Florida, Elizabeth (Daniel) Langdon of Japan, and Joel (Sidney) Mitchell of Oregon; and ten great-grandchildren.
Elizabeth’s memorial service will be Saturday, April 1st, at 3:00 p.m. at the Camas United Methodist Church, 706 NE 14th Ave, Camas, WA 98607. At Elizabeth’s request, please do not wear black or primarily not black; something with cardinals on it or something blue would be appropriate.
Memorials can be given either to CUMC or to the IETF (International Essential Tremor Foundation), PO Box 14005, Lenexa, KW 66285-4005, www.essentialtremor.org. Straub’s Funeral Home in Camas is in charge of funeral arrangements. To send condolences or sign her online guestbook, visit www.straubsfuneralhome.com.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth Gillespie, please visit Tribute Store
In Loving Memory
1926 - 2023
Straub's Funeral Home
325 NE 3rd Avenue
Camas, Washington 98607
Phone: (360) 834-4563