Niceville has lost an avid fan and long time supporter of girls softball. Raymond “Moe” Gillespie provided equipment, coached and cheered on virtually every girls softball organization in the City to include VNGSA, High Intensity, Niceville High School and Northwest Florida State College. Moe was always quick with softball one liners and anecdotes, but he was even quicker to open his wallet to purchase a bat or glove for a player or multiple players. Moe loved the game but didn’t have the necessary equipment when he was young. Therefore, he made it his mission to make sure that the girls had all the equipment they needed to play. Moe’s presence at the softball fields will be missed, but his memory will never be forgotten.
Raymond Eugene “Moe” Gillespie (1934 – 2016) | Visit Guest Book
Raymond Eugene “Moe” Gillespie of Valparaiso died on Jan. 23, 2016, at the age of 81, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center surrounded by his caregiver and longtime friends, Joanne Lovering, Teresa Trapnell and other close friends.
Born on March 25, 1934, in West Virginia, Moe joined the Army at a young age and served honorably for 22 years as a sergeant first class. Moe is a Korean War Veteran, where he earned the Purple Heart for his bravery and wounds sustained during combat. He also earned the National Defense, Korean, United Nations, and Republic of Korea Service medals; and Sharp Shooter medals, and Combat Infantry Badge.
He is survived by his dog, PJ; one brother, Clifton Gillespie of Ronceverte, West Virginia; four sisters, Leta Jensen of Algonquin Illinois, Dorothy Estep of Asbury, West Virginia, Nancy Gillespie of Caldwell, West Virginia, and Karen Smith of Leitchfield, Kentucky; his caregivers, Joanne Lovering and Teresa Trapnell, who took great care of him; and hundreds of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerald (1960) and Mary (1972); one sister, Janet (1941); and four brothers, Glen (2006), Lawrence (1992), Gordon (2011) and Kenneth (1995).
After retirement from the military, Moe continued working for the government for another 20 years. He enjoyed motorcycles which fueled his passion to ride with friends and participate in the annual Toys for Tots rides. Moe was a sports advocate whose television always had sports on it when you visited. At local softball complexes, players, coaches, and umpires knew Moe. He took every opportunity to provide coaching advice to youth or adults. Moe also donated time and equipment to the Niceville high school, Ruckell Middle School and Northwest Florida college teams. His selfless dedication, patriotism, and generosity, learned while serving in the Army, never left him, as family and friends will confirm. Moe loved talking about his special memories from Germany and here in Florida. Although a challenge lately, it was his memories and the love he felt from his close friends and family that kept bringing his spark back in his final days. He would want everyone to continue sharing those happy memories.
Visitation will be held at Emerald Coast Funeral Home on Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday morning at 10:15 at Barrancas National Cemetery with full military honors. A gathering of family and friends will be held on Friday following the service at East River Smoke House on Highway 98 in Navarre, Florida.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Jan. 27, 2016