Barbara Ann Barnes Gillespie, 89, passed away peacefully in her home in Green Valley, Calif., April 27, 2014.
She was born Oct. 22, 1924, in Salt Lake City to Herbert James and Eva Lund Barnes.
Her childhood and youth were spent in Kaysville, Utah. She attended Davis High School, where she was editor of the yearbook and participated on the tennis and drill teams. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah, graduating with high honors. At the university, she was women’s ping-pong champion, co-editor of the yearbook and member of the Chi Omega Sorority.
She worked as a proofreader and later as a personal secretary to the director of LDS Hospital. She meet Joel Gillespie, an orthodontist, and they were married May 2, 1949, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They moved to Washington, D.C., during the Korean War, then on to Berkeley and finally to their home in Green Valley. Together they reared four children: Herb, Tony, Craig and Kurt.
Barbara was an avid reader and was involved in several book groups, including The Great Books Group she joined while in Berkeley, remained active in it for 58 years, reading 11 books per year. She was president of the women’s auxiliary of the Napa-Solano Dental Society and a member of the Green Valley Country Club. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving as primary president, relief society president and cultural refinement teacher, young women leader and Sunday school teacher. She served for three years with her husband as he presided over the North Carolina Raleigh Mission. Her family and friends will attest to her wonderful cooking skills. She was regularly seen walking three miles every morning on the bike path in Green Valley.
Barbara was known for her ready smile, joyful disposition and gentle kindness. She was always outward looking and radiated goodwill to all those around her.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Joel N. Gillespie of Fairfield, Calif; sons, Herbert (Carol) Gillespie of Roosevelt, Utah, Dr. Craig Gillespie and Kurt Gillespie of Fairfield, Calif.; son-in-law, Stephan Peers of Lafayette, Calif.; brother, Dr. Canute Barnes of Seattle, Wash.; 13 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Tony Rae Gillespie Peers; her parents; and her brothers, Anthon and Jim Barnes.
Friends and family are invited to a memorial service at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 3, 2014, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel at 101 Oakwood Drive, Fairfield, Calif., 94533, off of Suisun Valley Road.
Visitation with the family from noon until the service. Brunch to follow at the home of her son Craig at 4375 Green Valley Road. Express condolences at www.oakparkhillschapel.com.
Arrangements under the care of Oak Park Hill Chapel 3111 N. Main St. Walnut Creek, Calif. 94597.