Obituary of Patricia Margaret Gillespie
August 22, 1939 – Hardisty, Alberta
September 7, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta
Patricia Gillespie of Calgary, AB, passed away on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at the age of 83 years.
Pat was born in Hardisty, AB, on August 22, 1939. She was youngest of two and her brother Bill was her first best friend. She moved with her brother Bill and parents to Saskatoon, SK, as a baby due to her father’s work with the military. There she met Pat, who became a lifelong friend. However, the family settled in Calgary, AB, and Pat graduated from Central Memorial High School. Pat not only graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in education, but she also attended the University of Florida for graduate work, where she met another lifelong friend, Pam.
Pat never married but accumulated many, many friends and chosen family. She loved a good game of bridge, and many opponents ended up her closest friends. Gaynor, Jeannie, Bev, and Ruth were some of those, but many other wonderful people also thought the world of Pat. Ric and Judy, Laurie and Phil, Annemarie, Margot, Louse, Barb, John, Mary, Heather, Libby, Frank, Marylou, Linda, Torbin, Judith, Peter and so many others.
Pat accomplished much through her life and was particularly proud of her work as a teacher, principal, and consultant with the Calgary Board of Education. She really loved that she got to help shape so many young lives. “Ms. G” was principal of three schools, Dr. Gladys Egbert, Wilma Hansen, and she retired from Harold Panabaker. Pat also spent time as a language arts consultant and in student assessment. She was nominated for Calgary’s Woman of Distinction Award.
Pat loved hosting dinners with good food and good conversation. She loved reading and travel. Pat’s most memorable vacation, for her, was all of them. She loved to see new places and had many trips overseas, including to visit cousins in Scotland, and exploring England, France, Greece, Portugal, and others. Trips closer to home were to visit her Aunt Florence in Toronto, to visit friends in Parksville and Qualicum Beach and Mexico and Hawaii. She got her skipper certification and spent time sailing as part of a crew in Canada and Europe.
Pat’s favorite saying was “you don’t know how strong you are, until you don’t have a choice”. She always embodied this, but this phrase really helped her through a difficult rehab for a fracture in 2018. She will be most remembered for her generous and kind nature. Pat always had time for those closest to her, and really embraced staying in touch online during the pandemic.
Pat is survived by her nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, and many, many friends. She was predeceased by her brother Bill, and parents, Clarence and Margaret.
A Celebration of Pat’s Life will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, AB) on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow in the Hospitality Centre at the Funeral Home. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Pat's service streamed live (see below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.
In living memory of Patricia Gillespie, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.
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