Elsie May Gillespie (97) of Watson

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Published on December 10 2012 10:29 am

Elsie May Gillespie, age 97, of Watson, passed away at 4:02 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2012, at Sparta Community Hospital.

She was born May 22, 1915, in Wheeler to Albert and Lena (Bear) Ragsdale. Elsie was united in marriage to James ‘Harold’ Gillespie on March 23, 1940 in Charleston, celebrating 57 years of marriage before Harold’s death on November 19, 1997.

Elsie is survived by her son, Jeffrey Gillespie of Sparta; her daughter, Rita (Robert) Gronemeyer of Villa Park; 2 granddaughters, Jennie Gillespie of Sparta and Jessica (Ryan) Muskopf of Flora; 2 great-grandchildren, Katie Muskopf and Teddy Muskopf of Flora; along with many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her daughter-in-law, Barbara (Crawford) Gillespie; 2 brothers, Samuel Ragsdale and Eugene Ragsdale; and 2 sisters, Gladys Ragsdale and Irene (Elmer) Herrmann.

Elsie graduated from secretarial school, working in offices several years before marrying. Harold and Elsie lived in Coles County before settling in Watson where they ran the family dairy farm together. Elsie was involved in Ladies Home Extension, was a 4-H leader for many years and taught Sunday school at the Watson Christian Church. Elsie had a love of words which her well-worn dictionary displayed. She loved to play Scrabble, do crossword puzzles, and read and recite poetry. Elsie also loved to play croquet and card games with her family. She enjoyed walking, especially taking daily hikes in the woods or on farm roads with her Collie dog. Elsie took great pride in her plentiful vegetable gardens and beautiful roses.

The funeral for Elsie will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at the First Christian Church in Effingham. Visitation will be held at the church from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service on Wednesday. Interment will follow in Arborcrest Memorial Park, Effingham.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the First Christian Church of Effingham. Arrangements for Elsie Gillespie are under the direction of Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora.