White Sulphur Springs-Kenneth “Temp” Templeton Gillespie was born at home, June 16, 1927, in White Sulphur Springs, the son of Kenneth Maxwell Gillespie and Mary Frances Morgan.
He graduated from White Sulphur Springs High School, Class of 1944. He played in the North South Football Game in 1944. Following High school he attended Bullis Prep School, Pennsylvania Maritime Academy, Virginia Polytechnical Institute and graduated Marshall University, class of 1951. While at Marshall, he was President of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and Member of ODK Honorary Society and walk-on football player and played Varsity tennis for the Thundering Herd.
His military service included being a staff sergeant during the Korean War, with honorable discharge in 1945; recalled to service 6 months later, deferred to finish college and upon return received 2nd lieutenant commission in 1950. He was Commanding Officer of Bridge Company, 51st Armored Engineer Battalion, 6th armored Division, Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He was Aide-de-Camp to Brigadier General Purdue and later to Major General Pence.
Following the service, the Flower Shop brought him back to WSS to join his father in Kenneth M. Gillespie & Son, Florist. They operated stores in White Sulphur Springs, The Greenbrier, Florida Gold Coast area in the Breakers, White Hall & Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Boca Raton Club, Hollywood Beach Hotel & Roney Plaza in Miami. After his retirement, when in WSS, Temp attended Flower Shop morning meetings and kept check on the 3rd and 4th generations.
His civic duties included Cub Scout Leader, President of WSS Community House Association, WSS Council Member, Vestry Member and Treasurer of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Temp loved tennis and the fellowship that came with it throughout his life. He was the originator of the GEHS tennis Team, member of Greenbrier Valley Tennis Association, Tournament Director of two USTA sanctioned tennis tournaments held in WSS. Instrumental in building the three tennis courts at WSS Memorial Park and The Courts at GEHS. Temp retired to World Tennis Center in Naples, FL where he enjoyed playing and watching tennis.
Later in life, he enjoyed playing the game of golf. The only requirement in playing with Temp was his partner had to tee up his ball, due to two artificial hip replacements; many thanks to all his golfing buddies for their dedicated duty. In Florida, he continued to make new golf friends at The Premier Club.
He was predeceased by his sisters, Charlotte Merriam and Marjorie Carte.
He is survived by: his wife of 57 years, Phebe Russell Brisbin; daughters, Mary Palmer (Bob) Columbus, OH and Martha Sams (Bobby) WSS; sons, John (Jane) and Charley (Jerri) both of Lewisburg; grandchildren, Richard, Steven, Russell and Alex Gillespie, Myles Sams, Emily Monfiletto (Chris), Elizabeth Palmer and Rebekah Sams; close cousin, Steve Morgan; many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and cousins.
Many thanks to his caregivers, Donna, Lynn, Audrey, Vicki, Jeremy and Hospice care staff.
Employees of Gillespie’s Flowers will serve as honorary pallbearers.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice Care, 223 Maplewood Avenue, Lewisburg, WV 24901 and City of White Sulphur Springs, Park & Recreation Fund, 34 W. Main Street, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986.
Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. a service will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 205 West Main Street, WSS. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in Butler Hall.
Shanklin Funeral Home, White Sulphur Springs is serving the family.