For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Alexander William (Bill) (Gil) Gillespie, O.M.M., C.D.


Lieutenant Colonel, RCN / C.A.F.


Died: 28 Jun 2014, Halifax, Nova Scotia


GILLESPIE, Alexander William (Bill) (Gil) - It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Alexander William 'Bill' 'Gil' Gillespie, LCol. (Rtd), O.M.M., C.D. (81) on June 28, 2014, in the Halifax In≠ firmary, QEII, due to complications from surgery. Born in Brock≠ville, Ont., Bill was the only son of the late William and Maude L. (Gorman) Gillespie and the beloved baby brother to Mary Waymouth (deceased), Dorathy Hutton (deceased), Marjorie Jackson, Alberta; and adopted sister, Soyie. The family moved to Hamilton, Ont. shortly after his birth where Bill attended various schools. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy as an Ordinary Seaman in October 1950. In 1952, he transferred to the Naval Air Branch and was trained as an Air Fitter at H.M.C.S. Shearwater. After training, Bill served on various Naval Air Squadrons on both coasts and ships, including H.M.C.S. Magnificent for Queen Elizabeth IIís Coronation in 1953 and with the first United Nationís Peacekeeping Mission to Egypt in 1956. In 1976, he was commissioned as a Captain (AERE) and served as the Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Officer in 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, CFB Petawawa, 1978 to 1981. In 1981, he was transferred to N.D.H.Q. as the Aircraft Project Officer for the CH-147 Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopter. Promoted to Major in 1982, he was chosen for exchange duties at the United States Naval Aircraft Repair Facilities, Pen≠sacola, Fla., as the H-1, H-2, and H-3 Project Officer. On returning to Canada in 1984, he was assigned duties as Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the Sea King Helicopter at CFB Shearwater. In 1986, Bill was promoted LCol. and was transferred to N.D.H.Q. as Section Head of D.D.D.S. 2. On his release in 1988, Bill went to work for I.M.P. Group Aerospace Division as Director of Aircraft Programs and in 1989, was promoted to Vice President of Aircraft Production. Bill retired from the I.M.P. Group in 1992 to spend more time at the lake with his wife June and to play hockey and swim with his grandchildren whom he adored. Bill was a community-oriented individual from the days of his youth when he organized an outdoor rink in his community, to later in life, when he became a Cub Leader, Vol≠unteer Fireman, Little League Coach, President of the Rate Payers Associ≠ation, and President of a swim club. In retirement, he was President of his Parish Council, Chairperson of his Churchís Annual Picnic and organized and ran the Neighbourhood Watch Program in Mineville. He was also Past-President of the Shearwater Aviation Museum where he was an avid volunteer. Although Billís favou≠rite sport was hockey, which he played until his late sixties, he obtained his greatest sports achievement while playing football for the Shearwater Flyers of the Nova Scotia Senior Canadian Football League when they won the Maritime Cham≠pionship in 1952. His second love was swimming and for years he could be found at the Shearwater or Naden pools teaching youngsters and adults how to swim safely. He is survived by his much-loved and loving wife of 60 years, June Marie (MacDonald); daughters, Jacqueline (Brian) White, Patricia (Craig) MacDonald, Sandra Gillespie, and Donna Gillespie (York Friesen); sister, Marjorie Jackson, Calgary, Alta.; his grandchildren, Brenton, Sean, and Nicholas MacDonald, Dartmouth; Kyle and Lindsey White, Australia/Toronto, Ont.; Conor, Jessica, Noah and Riley Gillespie-Friesen, Dartmouth; as well as great-grandchild, Gavin MacDonald; numerous nephews, nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces. Thank you to the doctors and nurses of 5.1 and 7.1 of the Halifax Infirmary, QEII, for their special care. Visitation will take place on Wednes≠day, July 2, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m., in Mattatallís Funeral Home, 217 Portland St., Dartmouth. Funeral service will take place in Saint Peterís Roman Catholic Church, 10 Maple St., Dartmouth, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 3, with re≠ception to immediately follow in the Shearwater Aviation Museum, 34 Bonaventure Ave. Burial at a later date. Family flowers only. Donations may be made to the Shearwater Aviation Museum Foundation or charity of choice.


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