PHILIPPI — Delbert W. Gillespie, 86, passed away on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, at Mansfield Place, Philippi, where he had resided since 2013, having spent most of his life in Buckhannon. He was born Aug. 30, 1930 in Morgantown, a son of the late John W. and Bessie Anderson Gillespie. On Sept. 10, 1974 at Hot Springs, Va., he was married to Barbara Ann Bess who survives at Philippi.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by one son, Richard D. Gillespie and wife Debra, of Franklin, stepsons David M. Bess and wife Cyndi, of Morgantown, Robin P. Bess and wife Amy, of Russell, Ky., stepdaughter Kelly Bracey and husband Judson of Philippi.
Also surviving are two sisters, Pauline Bunner, Buckhannon, and Donis M. Sardish, Warren, Ohio, and one brother Robert D. Gillespie, Warren, Ohio and sisters-in-law Marietta (Lowell) Gillespie, Buckhannon and Lucille Poling (Donald) Gillespie, Niles, Ohio. Surviving grandchildren are: Ryan D. Gillespie, of Morgantown, Lindsay (Bracey) Goudy, of Philippi, Riley Bess and Kathryn Bess, both of Russell, Ky.
Preceding him in death were a sister Lyndell Rowan, brothers Percy Lowell Gillespie, Donald R. Gillespie and three half-sisters, Norma Phillips, Loretta Bennett-Wriglesworth and Aretta Newhouse.
Delbert was a graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School with the Class of 1949 and a veteran of the U.S. Navy having served from 1951-1955. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1992. He enjoyed his mail route and customers, brightening their day at Christmas time by walking his route on the streets of Buckhannon dressed as Santa Claus. He loved to walk and at age 70, he walked from Buckhannon to Elkins in a few hours, just because he could. He enjoyed the state parks of West Virginia and woodworking.
Delbert gifted his body to the Human Gift Registry at WVU.
A visitation will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 52 South Florida St., Buckhannon, on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 from 9-11 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. Rev. Steven Meadows and Rev. Billee Scott Mick will officiate.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in Delbert’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association. You may do so online at www.alz.org and select the Tribute/Memorial Donation tab or by mail to Alzheimer’s Association, WV Chapter, 1601 2nd Avenue, Charleston, WV 25387.