Effingham Daily News
Elsie May Gillespie, 97, of Watson, passed away at 4:02 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at Sparta Community Hospital.
Funeral services for Elsie will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Christian Church, Effingham. Visitation will be held at the church from 1 p.m. until the time of service Wednesday. Interment will follow in Arborcrest Memorial Park, Effingham. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to First Christian Church of Effingham. Arrangements for Elsie Gillespie are under the direction of Frank & Bright Funeral Home, Flora.
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 Nov. 19, 1997.
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 cross-word 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.
Elsie is survived by her son, Jeffrey Gillespie, of Sparta; her daughter, Rita (Robert) Gronemeyer, of Villa Park; two granddaughters, Jennie Gillespie, of Sparta, and Jessica (Ryan) Muskopf, of Flora; two 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; two brothers, Samuel Ragsdale and Eugene Ragsdale; and two sisters, Gladys Ragsdale and Irene (Elmer) Herrmann.