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James "Jim" Edward Gillespie

February 18, 1947 — January 23, 2021

James "Jim" Edward Gillespie

James "Jim"  Edward Gillespie, 73, of Meadville, passed away at home, peacefully, on Saturday, January 23, 2021, after more than a year of unnecessary suffering and illness due to a series of preventable medical missteps.
 
Jim was born in Ashtabula, OH, on February 18, 1947, the son of the late James Edward and Susan Elizabeth (Fish) Gillespie.
 
Jim is survived by his beloved and devoted wife, Mary Frances Gillespie, whom he married on July 17, 1968.

An active member of Lyona Bible Church, Guys Mills. Jim was a true man of God whose goal was to live for Christ and lead others to Him. He served as a Sports Chaplain for Allegheny College Football, for the Erie Explosion Arena Football Team and as a Chaplain for the CBA Basketball team, the Quad City Thunder. Jim held his love of Jesus above all else and tied this love to his love of sports by writing an inspirational book called, "Chapel Services for Sports Teams".
 
A graduate of Ashtabula High School, Jim was also a 1968 graduate of Ohio University.  At both schools, he enjoyed being a defensive lineman for the football teams.  Jim's passion for football lead him to try out for a position with the Cleveland Browns and he was thrilled to make the team.  Jim was a natural athlete who was inducted into the Ashtabula County Football Hall of Fame as well as the Ashtabula County Hall of Fame for Track and Field.  Additionally he still holds records for Shot Put in Ashtabula County and Discus Throwing in Ashtabula City.  For many years Jim taught Health and Physical Education at Ashtabula High School, where he also coached Football, Wrestling and Track.  He went on to teach at Riverside High School and coached Football, Wrestling, and Girls Fast Pitch Softball.  Jim had also coached for the Scottish American Football team, the Fife 49ers .  Following his teaching career, Jim was employed by New York Life Insurance Company for 18 years.  He was a charter member of Lake Erie County Touchdown Club.  Whether Jim was known as Coach, Dizzy Gillespie, Big Daddy, Big Jim, Jay Jay, or Jimmy Dean, it was ALWAYS known that he treasured time with family and that he loved them deeply.  He will be greatly missed.
 
In addition to his wife, Mary Frances, of 52 years, Jim is survived by three children Tammy (Pescatelli) Palanca and her husband Luca of Meadville, Travis James Gillespie and his wife Elizabeth of Rochester, NY. Troy Allen Gillespie and his wife Lucinda of Meadville; grandchildren Luca James Palanca, Joseph James Gillespie, Carlee Ana-Rose Gillespie and step grandchildren. He is also survived by many loving cousins and several close life long friends.
 
Family and friends are invited to call from 11 am - 1 pm on Friday, January 29, 2021, at Lyona Bible Church, Lyona Road, Guys Mills, PA. Funeral Services will follow at 1 pm with Michael Fraser, Pastor, officiating.  CDC guidelines will be followed.  The service will also be live streamed via Facebook (Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.) 

Arrangements are under the direction of STEPHEN P, MIZNER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 404 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE.
 
Share a memory or condolence at www.miznerfuneralhome.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Jim" Edward Gillespie, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, January 29, 2021

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

CDC guidelines will be followed.

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Funeral Services

Friday, January 29, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

CDC guidelines will be followed.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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