ForeverMissed
Thomas David Gillespie, a resident of Dawsonville, Georgia, died unexpectedly on October 23, 2020 after suffering a stroke in Panama City, FL, where he was vacationing with his family.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Karen, whom he married on September 12, 1975 in Cincinnati, OH. They shared 45 happy years together. He is fondly remembered by many and will be dearly missed by Karen (nee Wagner); his daughter Katie (Brian) Mohs; sons Greg (Christina) Gillespie and Stephen (Tara) Gillespie; adored grandchildren Adeline and Oliver Mohs, Davis, Mason, Caitlin, and Brigid Gillespie; brothers Jim (Lesa) Gillespie, and Jeff (Jane) Gillespie; sister Sandy Tedford; numerous nephews, nieces, other relatives, and countless friends. He is preceded in death by his parents Ruth (nee Foppe) and Raymond Gillespie Jr; sisters Mary Gillespie and Nancy Walker.

Tom was a dedicated 35-year sales executive for The Coca-Cola Company, where he had many accomplishments, but was most successful at honing his golf skills while “doing business” on the course. He didn’t just devote time to Coca-Cola and golf, however. Tom was also an abiding family man: coaching both of his sons in youth baseball, escorting his daughter to numerous father-daughter dances, and always remaining at the ready with a special treat for his treasured grandchildren. His children will continue to live the life-lessons and teachings of a tremendous father, the most important of which is simply to love. As for his wife, he treated her to fine dining excursions most evenings, with frequent trips to Longhorn, Five Guys, and most notably, Waffle House. He looked forward to annual trips with his fraternity brothers to watch the Superbowl in Islamorada, lay down Jesuit School parlays for March Madness in Las Vegas, and play golf in the mountains. Tom was a humble servant of God from a young age, from serving as an altar boy at St. Matthew’s in Norwood, OH, to Treasurer for the Knights of Columbus at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Dawsonville, GA. As an old friend offering condolences said about Tom, “I was always in a better mood being around him. [He had a] contagious personality.” He will be immensely missed by all who knew him.

A Requiem Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday November 14th, at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, located at 991 Kilough Church Rd. in Dawsonville, GA 30534. Due to COVID-19 the mass will be limited to 150 attendees, but it will be streamed at facebook.com/CTRDAWSONVILLE. Eucharist will be distributed outside the church to eligible Catholics streaming mass from the parking lot.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tom’s name to either the “Knights of Columbus #15238” (via check sent to CTR Church - address above) or to support Juvenile Diabetes Research (via JDRF.org).

Posted by Mike French on November 14, 2020
Tom was simply one of the good guys. One of the best people I have ever known. He will leave a void that can never be filled, but at least we know that for Karen, the entire family, and the rest of us, his memory will always evoke a smile.
Posted by William Webb on November 14, 2020
Brother Tom was great to work with. He always listened to new ideas, and contributed significant new programs for our KofC Council. I will miss his cheerful approach to serving others.
Posted by Sandy Tedford on November 14, 2020
You went away so suddenly and we did not say goodbye, but my heart can never be parted, my memories of our good times will never die.

Karen and family I know how much he loved you and I am sure he will be sorely missed in your community. He was a leader among men and the greatest example of a brother there could be. You are all in my prayers.

Love you all Sandy
Posted by John Luranc on November 13, 2020
Worthy DGK Tom,
Brother Tom was my Deputy Grand Knight and I am unable to describe what a great person he was to me and our Council. No one is as sorry as I am of our loss. Our Council and it's efforts to advance Knight plans and charities was a key wish on his part to do great work. He always volunteered and gave 120% when he participated.
Brother Tom, We will miss you enormously
Posted by Ann Welsh on November 11, 2020
The Welsh Family remember many good times we had with your family. This is truly a sad time. Try to keep those good memories close to your heart and make sure those sweet grandchildren don't forget their wonderful Pop Pop. You are all in our prayers.
Posted by Jeff Hardesty on November 11, 2020
Tom will be missed by his many friends at Chestatee Golf Club. On the golf course or relaxing in the Heron Grill, he was always in a good mood. D'Anna and I send our sincere condolences.
Posted by Virginia Heacox on November 3, 2020
Karen, and Family ~ Love and laughter abound in each one of you, in spite of this huge sorrow. Others love to be a part of what your family symbolizes ~ Faith, Hope, and Love at it's finest! Everyone would wish Tom could stay around here longer, so unique in so many wonderful ways. Hold tight to that eternal connection and feel the loving prayers and support from all who were enriched by knowing him. God bless. ~ Virginia and Albert
Posted by Jenny Georges on November 2, 2020
Tom was one of the nicest people I have ever known. He had a great sense of humor, a great smile & a twinkle in his eye, especially when he spoke of his kids & grandkids. His family was blessed to call him husband, Dad & Pop POP, as were we who called him friend.
Posted by Jack Conter on November 2, 2020
To the Gillespie family. We are very sorry for your loss. I know from our many coke retiree lunches Tom was a devoted family man who loved his wife, kids, and grand kids. Tom will be very missed. Jack & Cheryl Conter
Posted by Martin Georges on November 2, 2020
Jenny and my heart hurts for Karen and her family. But most of all, the grandchildren. No pop pop around to watch them grow up.
Posted by Mandy Turner on November 2, 2020
My heart hurts for you all. Tom was always so full of life it will be impossible not to miss him. I feel truly blessed to have known him.
Posted by Don Kohne on November 2, 2020
Tom was simply one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. We’ve been good friends for almost 50 years. He is already missed greatly.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Mike French on November 14, 2020
Tom was simply one of the good guys. One of the best people I have ever known. He will leave a void that can never be filled, but at least we know that for Karen, the entire family, and the rest of us, his memory will always evoke a smile.
Posted by William Webb on November 14, 2020
Brother Tom was great to work with. He always listened to new ideas, and contributed significant new programs for our KofC Council. I will miss his cheerful approach to serving others.
Posted by Sandy Tedford on November 14, 2020
You went away so suddenly and we did not say goodbye, but my heart can never be parted, my memories of our good times will never die.

Karen and family I know how much he loved you and I am sure he will be sorely missed in your community. He was a leader among men and the greatest example of a brother there could be. You are all in my prayers.

Love you all Sandy
his Life

Tom's Autobiography (written in 8th Grade)

'My Life'

It was a rather rainy night, very rainy, in the month of December, the fifth to be exact, when in the course of human events, I was born. I was the second of the crew, and since the first was a girl, I was probably brought up, at first, as sort of a sissy. But in time I was brought up to be more of a boy. Of course, as a child, my greatest joys were when Santa and the Easter Bunny came. My greatest ambition, the same as most young boys, was to become a fireman.

Not to brag, but my mother always tells me how cute of a baby I was, and how all the people used to make over me. (How Embarrassing)

I grew very fast and soon I was old enough to play guns without my mother around. But that was probably bad because the kids across the street watched too much T.V. and what they saw didn't help me. They thought because cowboys hit people over the head with guns, it was alright for them to. Therefore I better get bald, because of all the scars.

I was a very trouble making child, that was bad for me also because every holiday, especially Easter, I had a black eye. My childhood was full of fun and happiness as is most youngsters'. Finally I was old enough for a place called school s my mother told me. It sounded like fun at first because all she talked about was kindergarten and how you play, draw, make things, and have fun.

The year 1958 rolled around ant it was time for kindergarten. That went by very quickly and made me seem to like school a lot, because school was only for a half a day and it was fun.

The next year brought different thoughts. I was in the first grade and it lasted for a full day and wasn't as much fun. For one reason we had more work, less play, and a rather strict teacher, when she was in a bad mood.

I survived through the air pollution grade which was the second. It was called the air pollution grade for one serious reason, the teacher which was Miss Schaffer, took her shoes of in the classroom. I seemed to like the grade because we had pretty much fun. This was one of the most important years in my life for I made my First Holy Communion.

The third grade went fast and I liked it a lot because I liked my teacher. She was nice, her name was Sister Rose Ann. In that room, which was a split grade, we got out of a lot of class to go to the other third grade room so sister could teach religion for the second grader's First Communion.

The Fourth grade I didn't like for one of my best friends moved away. I liked my teacher a lot and had lots of fun in this class. My teacher, Sister Paul Marie, was very understanding and kind. She would let us out every day for drinks. (Can't you take a hint?)

The fifth grade I shouldn't talk about for I turned to be a juvenile delinquent. This was the best class of all for we had the most fun. And not learning fun, fun fun, because I remember an eraser fight we had for a solid month and then finally we got caught. But the ones that got the blame didn't deserve it all because the other fifth grade was in our room and it was one of their faults we were caught. For this reason, Jim Forist threw one piece of eraser at me and I threw one back and hit the teacher. She didn't like it and punished our class and not theirs.

The sixth grade I don't know what to start with. That was the first year I could play school sports so I went out for football and basketball and make the first team on both squads. In football we took the championship. Also during this year we had three different teachers Sister Andrew Marie, Miss Williams, and Miss Sweeney which during the year became Mrs. Sakora. The first teacher the sister was very strict and we learned the times tables because every punish lesson you got, you had to write the times tables. The next teacher only lasted for a week because that's all she could take. This teacher favored my friend Dale and I a lot for in the one week we had 9 punish lessons combined. The next teacher we had a lot of fun with because every day we had a debate on how she favored the girls. We always lost, but it was in the game of fun.

The seventh grade came soon and I was in athletic competition again. I joined the football, basketball, and this year track team. This year it meant a trophy for runners up in a basketball tournament. This year I had Sister Dominic for a teacher. I liked her very much  as did most of the boys, for most of the boys by this time were interested in sports as was sister. This year we started learning modern math and it seemed to come fairly easy for our teacher knew much about it. During the summer was one of the most thrilling events in my life. It is about baseball. This was my fifth year of playing this sport. I was on a team in B Knothole league called Frisch's. At first this seemed like it was going to be a long summer for all we did was practice. But as you know practice makes perfect (ALMOST). We played almost 45 games year and only lost 3, plus we practiced far too many times to count. You are probably wondering why the "almost" is up there. But it is true for we practiced and practiced for the last game if we could make it and we did make it but lost. It was the city championship at steak and we lost. Now you know why I say almost.

The eighth grade came next. The grade I am in now. My teacher is Sister Mildred the principal. She is rather nice when she is in a nice mood but all in all she is one of the nicest teachers I had. This year much went on and I played sports again and the football team came in first again. And not because we were big and strong in fact we were almost the littlest team in the league. But our desire and school spirit was the thing that made us win, and also it was our coach Clark Eads that did much to help us and in my words as far back as I remember he was the best coach Saint Matthew's ever had. Since the school year is not yet over I can't exactly tell you how much I like it. But so far it has been pretty much fun. This year we are getting ready for High School and at present and probably for sure I will attend Purcell. This year also brought very much unhappiness with the trouble we get into for breaking school rules but after all rules are made to be broken. 

And now I have no more to tell for I have not gone any further in life and as I sit here now writing this assignment I no longer wish to be a fireman but whatever I was made to be.


by Tom Gillespie
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John Luranc

Shared by John Luranc on December 5, 2020
WhenI first had the opportunity to meet Brother Tom it was a meeting designed to convince him to join the KOC. The more I discussed it with him, the more I was convinced he should run for office in our Council. 
As it turned out, Brother Tom not only joined us but ran for office in our Council to be the next Deputy Grand Knight for our Council. 
Worthy Deputy Grand Knight Tom was extremely helpful to our Council and helped willingly in all our charity work. 
We often laughed about the above when I kept reminding him that his Irish name will always be a big hit with Father Higgins.
He was such a wonderful Man and now is with all his Brothers in Heaven.
Shared by Christopher Goemans on November 3, 2020
Our thoughts & deepest sympathies go out to the Gillespie family.  What a wonderful family Tom & Karen have built together. Hold your memories close to your heart during this time.

Working with Tom

Shared by Jack Conter on November 2, 2020
I worked with Tom many times over the years at Coca-Cola while in Category Management. The closest we worked together was as soft drink category captains with Home Depot when they explored and tested a convenience store concept in the store parking lots in Nashville and Georgia. Tom and I met with them many times to help them determine how they would optimize soft drinks in their stores. Tom shared with them many examples of how soft drinks were successfully used in the convenience store segment to drive traffic, revenue and profit. We were there together for all of the store set ups and grand openings. Although the concept was eventually shelved, it wasn’t due to the lack of effort and professionalism on our parts, especially Tom’s. They always seemed to appreciate his candid fact based opinions on what it would take to be successful. I enjoyed those times getting to know Tom on a personal level, working long hours and traveling together for this project.