Evelyn Mary Gillespie (Heichert) passed away peacefully on June 2nd, 2022. She will be sadly missed by her Son Grant Spelsberg (Coral), daughter Jenny Nemeth (Jim), and stepson Gordon Gillespie (Kathy). Grandchildren Marnie, Jeremy (Shelley), Jenene (Pete), Josh, and Jessica (Tyler), and Great Grandchildren Madison, Linden, Dayton, and Sawyer.
Evelyn was born in Vancouver, BC, on October 18th, 1932, and moved to Summerland in 1942 with her Mom and Dad, Jacob and Katherine, and siblings Wally, Helen, and Annie. Throughout her youth, she played softball, where she went on to become a provincial champion at the age of 17, playing catcher and 1st base. Although she was short in stature, she also played basketball in school.
She raised Jenny and Grant while working for the municipality of Summerland until she retired in 1975. She then got into various volunteer positions including The Summerland Ladies Legion Auxiliary, coaching softball, becoming a member of The United Church executive, singing in the church choir, becoming a member of the Summerland Curling Club Executive, and tending bar as a volunteer at the Curling Rink. She was honoured as a lifetime member of the Summerland Curling Club and was a long-time member of the Summerland Golf and Country Club.
In 1974 she met Woody Gillespie through working for the city. They married in 1977and built their log cabin out on Logie Rd. This is where the family would gather, from pool games to songs around the organ and Christmas dinners, many memories were made here.
From 1989-1999, she held the contract for the Summerland Arena Concession. She ran a tight ship there, always expecting manners from the children. “What’s the magic word?” Jenny and her family soon joined Evelyn and they became a staple at the Arena until 2007.
She followed the grandchildren and great-grandchildren around from arena to arena and ballpark to ballpark, always supporting, encouraging, and giving advice along the way to them and their teammates. Always buying 50/50, chocolates and raffle tickets for their sports fundraising. She made every Christmas and birthday special with her homemade almond bark that she would send to family members that weren’t going to be around for the holidays and gave the amount of money in your birthday card to match how old you were. She was the heart and soul of her family and will be greatly missed.
A Celebration of Life will be held at The Summerland United Church on June 14th at 1:30 pm, with a tea to follow. Memorial tribute donations can be made to the Summerland Curling Club for the youth curling program..
Please do not wear black, she was very adamant that we are to celebrate her life not mourn it, we encourage you to wear her favorite colour red!