Enumclaw resident, Jean Gillespie, passed away February 24, 2022 at the age of 102.
Jean was born in Lancaster, Missouri, January 26, 1920 to Dan and Gladys Trimble, one of 6 children. She is survived by 1 sister, Roberta Peterson of Phoenix, AZ, several nieces and nephews, daughter in law Heather Gilliespie of Enumclaw, WA. Jean is also survived by many close friends.
Jean is preceded in death by her husband, John, in 1962 and her son, John Mark, in 2008.
As a young woman, Jean taught at Ailshire Country School two years, attending Kirksville Teachers College in the summer and teaching in the winter. She also attended Southwest Bible College.
Doing her part for WW11, Jean worked in an ammunitions plan in St. Paul MN until it closed and then moved to Renton, WA working for Boeing until the end of the war. Jean worked for Graybar Electric Co in Seattle – 1944 and retired in 1986.
Jean married John Gillespie in 1949 and their son, John Mark was born in 1953.
While living in Renton, Jean opened her home to many “travelers” through her church. She never knew who her minister would ask for her to house -either visiting missionaries for a year, or a homeless person for a month. But she never refused, and never had empty rooms.
In 1987, Jean went to Phoenix, AZ to be with her mother who needed care “at the end of her life” at 91 years of age. Her mother lived to over 100 years of age, and Jean stayed with her mother providing her care. Jean returned to her home in 1997.
Jean went to work for Sears, after retiring from 44 years at Graybar. When she moved to Arizona to care for her mother, she transferred to the Sears store in Phoenix.
Jean attended Calvary Presbyterian Church and studied her Bible every day. For many years she attended a Fellowship Social at Hillside Community Church.
For over 13 years, Jean was a dedicated volunteer with the Enumclaw Senior Center, arriving at 7 am and not leaving until every lunch dish was washed and put away in its “proper” place. Jean then went to the Enumclaw Hospital and volunteered at the Front Desk, or the gift shop from 1pm until 4pm. For well over TEN years, Jean gave of herself to the Enumclaw community.
In 2010, to celebrate her 90th birthday, Tommy Tran, one of the young refugees Jean had taken in as a child, Jean and one of her friends, to his homeland of Vietnam as a thank you for all she had done for him and his brother when they had first immigrated to America.
In 2020, the Enumclaw Senior Center celebrated with Jean and well-over 100 of her friends her 100th birthday! Jean treated all of her friends with a country dinner with all of the fixings!
Jean loved to read, and in fact, read the Bible cover to cover every year since 1973. Jean loved to garden, and in her spare time liked to knit and crochet. Jean enjoyed life and would often say that “God was so good” to her.
Jean will be buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Renton, WA.
Friends are invited to join us at the Enumclaw Senior Center on Tuesday, March 22nd at 1:00pm as we honor Jean’s life and friendship.
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