Life’s journey for Clayton Gillespie began on August 30, 1936 in Harmony, NC to the late Allen and Emma Steele Gillespie. He was born as a twin, a brother “Flake” who lived only briefly. On March 18, 2019, Clayton transitioned and began his eternal journey in CVICU at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC.
“Coot” as family and friends fondly called him graduated from Iredell County school system in Statesville, NC. Afterwards he moved to Thomasville, NC. In 1962, he married the love of his life, Rosetta McGill Gillespie, they were happily married for 57 years, and inseparable! No Coot without Rosetta, no Rosetta without Coot. To this union four children were born, Harry, Larry, Rosemary and Shontera. Clayton was a family man; a protector and a provider. Clayton was a pillar of strength and support to his community. He instilled strong ethical values to his children and grandchildren; a disciplinarian but loving. Excellence was what he gave and excellence was what he expected from everyone!
“Mr. G” as all his students respectfully called him retired from Thomasville Middle School as head custodian, and as a fork lifter from Thomasville Furniture Industry. Prior to retirement Clayton owned and operated two professional businesses, lawn maintenance and a cleaning services. He was a member of Brown New Calvary Baptist Church where he served as an usher.
Clayton’s hobbies were cleaning his cars and manicuring his lawn. His favorite pastime was watching Steve Harvey, Family Feud and Little Big Shots. It brought him great joy to watch his University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tarheels where he often declared receiving an “honorary” degree after sending all four children there for higher education.
In addition to his parents Clayton was preceded in death by eleven siblings: Flake Gillespie (twin), Lawrence Gillespie, Johnny Gillespie, Mattie Gillespie, Grady Gillespie, Walker Gillespie, Sadie Gillespie, Glen Gillespie, Robert Gillespie, Jettie Gillespie, Nettie Gillespie, and Opah Gillespie.
With hearts grateful for his life and saddened by his passing, he leaves to cherish his memories and love to his wife, Rosetta Gillespie of the home; four children: Harry Gillespie of Durham, NC, Larry Gillespie of High Point, NC, Rosemary Gillespie and Shontera Gillespie-Coleman (Jerry) both of Raleigh, NC, seven grandchildren, Jharrison Gillespie, Leoncia Gillespie, Douglas Gillespie, Laurence Gillespie, Phylicia Gillespie, Jayda Coleman and Sierra Coleman, one great-granddaughter, Taliyah Miles, a sister, Annette Summers of Capital Heights, MD, grand dog, Zaria and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends.