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John Rod Gillespie, 98 - August 29, 2007


John Roderick “Rod” Gillespie, 98, of Gothenburg died Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007.
Services were held on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Banner United Methodist Church of Gothenburg with the Rev. Janie Freeman officiating. Burial took place at the Gaslin Cemetery.
Gillespie was born on May 14, 1909, at Lincoln to King William and Jenny Mae (Covey) Gillespie.
He attended Lincoln elementary and high schools through 10th grade. He transferred to MacPherson Central Academy in Kansas, where he graduated high school and junior college. He then returned to Lincoln and attended the University of Nebraska.
Gillespie was united in marriage to Ora June Shafer at Marysville, KS, on Sept. 28, 1929. The couple were married for 76 years.
He and his wife lived in Lincoln before moving to Chicago for a few months, during the Depression, to find work. They later returned to Lincoln, and in 1935 moved to a ranch north of Arthur and bought their first section of land in 1937. The family then moved to a farm west of Gothenburg in 1944.
During the 1960’s, he earned his real estate broker’s license and graduated from auctioneering school as well.
Gillespie had served as a Mason and was a member of the Banner United Methodist Church for over 50 years.
He was a football fan, especially for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and he enjoyed collecting bells including the bells used in the Banner Church Bell Choir, according to family members. He also enjoyed raising and showing Belgium draft horses, and spending time on his ranch in the Sandhills near Cody, where the spring of the year was his favorite time with calving and branding of the new calves.
?Gillespie was preceded in death by: his wife, Ora; his parents, King and Jenny; a brother, Wesly (Katherine); a granddaughter, Cathay (Suz) Witte; a great-granddaughter, Sophie Sidoruk; son-in-law, Charley McCance.
?Survivors include: four children—Jaynet McCance of Chadron, Jerry (Martha) Gillespie of Hopland, CA, Terry (Anne Benedict) Gillespie of Red Oak, IA, and Jenny (Dave) Armstrong of Madison WI; 21 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; nephews, nieces and their families, a sister, Isabell Lampshire of Lincoln.
Memorials are suggested to the Banner United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 96, Brady, NE 69123.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.blase strauser.com. Arrangements have been placed in the care of Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel of Gothenburg.

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