Written By Cathy Cooper Wood
On July 18, 2013, just 8 days before she would have celebrated her ninety-third birthday, Mildred Gillespie had all the weights, burdens and pains of this world lifted from her shoulders, and her spirit was set free to enter into eternal peace and joy with the Lord, Jesus Christ, her Savior.
Mildred entered this world on July 26, 1920 to the late Lewis and Myrtle Coon at their rural home setting in Oak Hill, Ohio. She would later be joined by little sisters: Goldie, Mable and Easter. She attended the Oak Hill Schools and in 1936 became the wife of the late Eugene McCain. Their union was blessed by the birth of four children: Robert Lewis (Bobby Lou), Viola May (Bonnie), Elmer Eugene (Jacky), and Patricia Louise (Patty).
In 1971 she became the wife of the late Henry Gillespie of Jackson, Ohio and, together, they enjoyed “life on the farm.” Mildred was in her element there, doing the things she loved most: gardening, raising flowers, spoiling grandchildren, and adopting stray animals. She acquired a pen of deer she had rescued, a goldfish pond in her front yard and even a peacock that greeted visitors when they arrived. From me, alone, she took in a Doberman that I didn’t have adequate space for, Iffy, a puppy mutt with a cleft pallet and continence issues, and an over aggressive kitten which she later determined to be part wildcat.
During the course of her life, Mildred exhibited real zeal for life and an abundance of energy never allowing room for idle hands. Always hard working and industrious, she wore many hats: from working in factories, in retail, and even as one of Walmart’s infamous greeters for as long as she was able.
In 1989 she moved to Florida where she enjoyed the warm climate and her heart’s fill of flea markets and yard sales. She returned to her roots, Jackson, Ohio, in 2010 where she spent the remainder of her life close to family and friends, in the environment of home.
Mildred was an open, friendly and giving person by nature – giving freely of her time, talents and love. Even during her final days of life, when roused from sleep, she would have a smile for those she loved rather than complaining of pain. She had a deep faith in Jesus Christ, accepted Him as her Lord and Savior and has gone on to be with Him in paradise.
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 6-8.)
She was predeceased by her spouse, Henry Gillespie; two sons, Bob and Jacky; three grandchildren: Tim Justice, Teresa Barnes, and Tony McCain and one sister, Mable Radabaugh. She will be missed by two sisters, Goldie Delaney and Easter Cooper; two daughters, Patty Barnes and Bonnie Justice; nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.
For the loved ones left behind, she is not dead, but lives on in our memories and in her fingerprints which she left on everything and everyone she touched.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Lewis-Gillum Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Rev. Stan Howard officiating. Burial will follow at Monroe Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2013 at the funeral home. Online condolences can be sent to www.lewisgillumfuneralhomes.com.