September 22, 2005

Thomas Warren Gillespie, Sr.

Thomas Warren Gillespie, Sr., 75 years of age, passed from this life to a Heavenly one on September 20, 2005 after a brief illness. He was the second of seven children born to James Milton Gillespie, Sr. and Thomas Eleanor Warren in Elberton, Ga. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers James Marshall Gillespie and William LaFayette Gillespie.

Tom (as most friends and family knew him) is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sarah Bernice Strickland Gillespie, son and daughter in law Thomas W. Gillespie, Jr. and wife Donna; daughter Teresa Durden and husband Tommy; and daughter Deana poss. Also surviving are brothers Rev. Jack B. Gillespie of Adairsville, Ga.; James M. Gillespie, Jr. of Sky Valley, GA; Henry E. Gillespie of Middleburg, Fla.; and Robert L. Gillespie of North Augusta, S.C.; sisters in law Mrs. William L. (Lucy) Gillespie and Mrs. James M. (Derallin) Gillespie of Columbia, SC. Additionally, he is survived by five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all of whom he was proud of and loved deeply, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Tom began has food service career in the Elberton Drug Store in the mid 1940's and continued in food service and restaurant business, in the U.S. Navy and privately, until his retirement in early 1990's. He was the owner of the Hillbilly House Cafeteria, a mainstay for good country eating in Clayton County, from 1971 until 1989. Prior to purchasing the Hillbilly House, he was the general manager for the Howard Johnson's Restaurant and several motels in Statesboro, Ga., from 1960 until 1971.

Tom was a former member of Lions International in Statesboro, Ga.. He was also a Past Master of Ogeechee Lodge #213 F&AM, Statesboro, and a 32nd Degree Mason in Royal Arch Masons, Statesboro Chapter 059, and Scottish Rite, Valley of Atlanta. He was also a current member of Jonesboro Lodge #87 F&AM, Jonesboro, Ga.. He began his Masonic Journey as a member of the Order of De Molay, Elbert Chapter, Elberton, GA in the mid-1940's, of which he still had possession of his 1947 Member in Good Standing card at the time of his death. He was devoted to Free Masonry and its teachings, living his life in a manner all Masons could emulate.

Viewing of his remains will be held at Carl J. Mowell and Son Funeral Home, 180 North Jeff Davis Drive, Fayetteville, Ga., Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service, including Masonic rites, will be conducted in the chapel of the funeral home Friday, September 23, 2005 at 2 p.m., after which his earthy remains will be cremated. Interment of his cremains is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 24, 2005 at 2 p.m. in Elmhurst Cemetery, Elberton, Ga..

The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations in Tom's memory be made to the Georgia Masonic Children's Home, 1417 Nottingham Drive, Macon, GA, 32108, or your favorite charity.

Carl J. Mowell & Son (770) 461-7641 or