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LIVONIA, MICH. - John Francis Gillespie, 88, passed away peacefully at 9:39 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, after a brief illness.

He was born in Youngstown, on Oct. 16, 1928, the son of Francis A. and Cecelia (Carroll) Gillespie.

He proudly and honorably served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

John made his career as a heavy steel fabricator, and later became part owner of Mahoning Valley Fabricators. He retired at the age of 57 and split his time between Youngstown and Fort Pierce, Fla. John later made his home in Florida, Niles, and then, Livonia.

One of John’s greatest accomplishments was becoming a 32nd degree Shriner.

He enjoyed collecting guns and visiting ranges wherever he lived.

The greatest loves of John’s life were his family, golf and football. He used to call himself a professional golfer, having spent so much time enjoying his favorite pastime during his retirement. Another pleasure of John’s was coaching the Kirkmere Cleaners Little League football team. He was so proud when they went on to capture a city championship title in 1960.

John leaves behind his cherished children, Colleen J. (John) Webberly of Livonia and, John Gillespie of Brookfield; as well as his adored grandchildren, Taryn (Daniel) Mauti, Sean Scane, Brendan Webberly, and Austin Webberly; and two great-grandchildren, Anna and Dylan Mauti.

He was a devoted husband to his beloved wife, Kathryn Mitchell Gillespie, whom he married on Feb. 17, 1973, and who passed away on April 7, 2010.

A private memorial service will be planned by the family at a later date.

Burial will be at St. Stephen Cemetery.

“Our joys will be greater. Our love will be deeper. Our lives will be fuller. Because we shared your moment.”

Arrangements by the Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home, 126 W. Park Ave. in Niles.

Visit to view this tribute and to send condolences.

Guestbook Entries

Coach Gillespie

“To Coach Gillespie's Family- my name is Mike Chlebus and I lived across the street from ya'll on Sylvia Lane. Coach Gillespie was my coach at Kirkmere Cleaners and an inspiration to me. He drove me to and from practice every day in his little Volkswagen that had no heat. He and Coach Fitch taught me football at a very young age and I am very thankful for that. I was a running back on the 1960 Championship team at the age of 10. Today I am 67. I have often thought about and wondered where Coach Gillespie was living at and what was going on in his life. So very sad to find it out in this manner. I wish I could of seen him and talked to him one last time. My wife and I send our prayers and condolences. RIP Coach Gillespie... Mike Chlebus”

 » Mike Chlebus on February 24, 2017

Family Friend

“I am so sorry for your loss. As you know, John and my Dad were life long friends and had a very special friendship. John called almost weekly to check on my Dad since his stroke last year. Dad always lite up when I told him John called. Just yesterday I told him I was worried about John as I hadn't heard from in several weeks. I am not sure how we will be able to tell dad about the loss of John as he will be crushed. God bless. Our family will be praying for him and your family. May he Rest In Peace.”

 » Kevin McHenry on February 24, 2017

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