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Jean Gillespie

September 29, 1926 -
August 27, 2021

Irma Jean Gillespie, professionally known as Dr. Jean Roland Gillespie, 94, of  Urbana, peacefully passed away in her sleep Friday, August 27, 2021.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.  Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy is in charge of arrangements.

Jean was born on September 29, 1926, in Champaign, I…read more

Irma Jean Gillespie, professionally known as Dr. Jean Roland Gillespie, 94, of  Urbana, peacefully passed away in her sleep Friday, August 27, 2021.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.  Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy is in charge of arrangements.

Jean was born on September 29, 1926, in Champaign, Illinois to Vern and Anna Roland. She was preceded in death by Robert H. Gillespie, her husband of 53 years and her son Thomas Gillespie. She is survived by two sons John Gillespie (Patti) of Champaign and Bob Gillespie (Kenna) of Silverton Oregon; six grandsons Rob (Angela), Brian, Danny, Clayton, Nolan (Rachael); Alec Gillespie (Mackenzie) and eight great grandchildren.

Jean attended University High School for 3 years then graduated from Champaign High School in 1943. She went on to the University of Illinois receiving a degree in sociology and psychology in 1947, where she was a member of the AOP Sorority. For 19 years, Jean raised her three sons. She then returned to the University of Illinois earning a master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and a doctorate in School Psychology. She worked as a school psychologist for 7 years then opened a practice as a clinical psychologist, which she maintained for nearly 3 decades. Jean also kept a life-long interest in the Gillespie-Roland Apartments, a business started by her father in 1920.

Jean had many life-long passions, including a love of music. She studied violin as a youth and piano as an adult. She was a member of the Symphony Guild, enjoyed concerts at Krannert, and hosted many musical Christmas Eve parties featuring Grammy award-winning pianist Laurence Hobgood. Another passion was for horses. She learned to ride hunt seat and jump horses as a teenager and to breed and show American Saddle Bred Horses well into her senior years. She was a long-time member of the Champaign County Country Club and enjoyed golf outings and was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church since the 1960s.

Jean was a one-of-a-kind woman, with an immense love for family and a knack for storytelling and ‘one- liners.’ She was also a strong advocate for civil, human, and women’s rights, as was demonstrated through her membership in the Urban League of Urbana, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and Planned Parenthood. Her exuberant personality will be fondly remembered by the many hearts and minds she has touched over the years.

But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.

Condolences may be offered at www.morganmemorialhome.com.

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