KEWANEE - Ralph A. Gillespie Jr., 72, of Kewanee, died at 1:35 p.m., Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, February 8 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Deacon Martin VanMeltebeck will officiate. Visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, February 7 at the funeral home. Family requests casual attire and would prefer you wear the fundraising t-shirts. Cremation will be accorded following the services. Memorials may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
He was born August 31, 1947 in Kewanee, the son of Ralph and Margaret “Maggie” (Zablackis) Gillespie Sr. He married Nancy Heiser on January 6, 1978 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kewanee. Survivors include his wife of Kewanee, his son, Ralph Gillespie III of Peoria, his siblings; Don Gillespie, Leigh (Kathleen) Gillespie, Leslie (Vivian) Gillespie and Patricia “Patty” Emond, all of Kewanee, sister-in-law, Carol (Raymond) Robinson, brother-in-law, Jim (Camie) Heiser, two grandchildren, Caden and Ryker and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Larry in infancy, a brother, Marlin, a sister-in-law, Marilyn Heiser, a brother-in-law, Larry Emond and nephew, Michael Heiser.
Ralph graduated from Kewanee High School in 1965 and attended Midstate College in Peoria. He worked as a warehouse clerk and foreman at Martin Engineering until his retirement in 2014. He also worked at the Dura Bowl in Kewanee for 35 years. He enjoyed bowling and playing golf and he especially enjoyed following the sporting events of his grandchildren.
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