Passing of John Gillespie author of "The Titanic Man"


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Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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I am sad to announce the passing of John Gillespie, who along with his wife Vera, wrote the book, 'The Titanic Man' and several other articles. He had been ill for a time. When I met him and Vera two years ago, I found them both to be so friendly and filled with such energy and enthusiasm. They went to almost every TIS convention, and that of other Titanic societies. I know there will be many people in the ocean liner community who have met and gotten to know John and will miss him. My sympathies go out to Vera and his family.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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I'd like to add my condolences as well. The Titanic community has lost a true friend.

I met John and Vera at a local gathering of Titanic enthusiasts in 1999. They sat at our table that day and we enjoyed hearing their insights into Titanic and other topics that came up that day. We spent one other day with John and Vera at the home of a local Titanic enthusiast and collector only a couple years ago. Recently I purchased a copy of "The Titanic Man" from John and Vera, and they were kind enough to sign it for me. It will always be a treasured part of my Titanic library.

Vera, we're thinking of you and keeping you and your family in our prayers.

Denise
 
Mar 20, 2000
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All:

I’m very sad to hear of the passing of John Gillespie, a genuinely kind and thoughtful man. He and his lovely wife Vera charmed everyone on their visit to Texas in 2003. He was a true gentleman, soft-spoken and erudite, yet had the endearing enthusiasm of a little boy when it came to sharing his collection of Titanic memorabilia. My condolences to Vera who is a member of this forum, and their family. Below is a photo of John taken with my camera in Oct. 2003 by ET member Kate Bortner.

In sympathy,
Randy




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Jan 31, 2001
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It upsets me to hear of the passing of any member of the Titanic community, and after reading the previous posts, this member in particular sounds especially kind-hearted and giving. I never met the man, but had I, I'm sure the pleasure would have been all mine.

My deepest condolences to his wife, family, and friends.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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I'm very sorry to hear this as well. I never had the chance of meeting John, but I've heard a lot of good things about him.

My sincerest condolences to Vera and their respective families.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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John and Vera were two of the first members of the Titanic community I met, many years ago at a THS convention. Vera would bring her replica of Edith Russell's pig which was always fun to see. The couple travelled many miles,and graciously moved amongst all factions of the community with good nature and good will, always welcomed faces at gatherings of various societies around the country-an example for us all. John's enthusiasm was contagious, and he will be sorely missed by everyone.
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Thank you for posting this news Michael, as sad as it is. Knowing John had a 'good innings' doesn't make things any easier for his friends and family, and my thoughts go out to them - particularly Vera, who is a member of this board.

Unlike others I've never had the opportunity to meet John, and only know him and Vera through their writing. As per other comments above, their book, The Titanic Man, is one of the more interesting accounts of the Titanic tragedy and I'm sure it will remain so.

Vale John, and thank you.
 

John Clifford

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I, too, wish to add my condolences.

John, along with his wife Vera, was somebody whose company you could enjoy. I had the pleasure of meeting them at 5 THS Conventions and at Don Lynch's Presentation in 2002. Those were moments I will always remember, for the great times we shared.
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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It's rare to find an individual in any field who is universally spoken well of and regarded. John was one such individual. Like Fi, I never had the opportunity to meet him, and knew him primarily through his work and mutual friends. That was enough to know that he was not only respected as a researcher, but also held in very high regard and affection as a person.

With sympathy and sadness to Vera and to all those who knew and loved him, and remembering all he gave the Titanic community.
 
Sep 26, 1999
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I hate to hear this. I met John and Vera a couple of years ago at one of Phillip Gowans dinners and spent much time chatting with the couple. My sincere condolences to the family. John will be greatly missed.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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I am very sorry to hear about John Gillespie. I had the privilege of meeting him and his dear wife,Vera, in Salado, Texas, in 2003. We've lost another star in the Titanic firmament.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Hi, all:

Just wanted to share these images of the late John Gillespie and his wife Vera, which were taken 2 years ago this week, during the Titanic Texas Weekend in Salado with Doug Willingham as our host. This photo was taken at the first dinner of the weekend, on a Friday, I think, at a restaurant located in one of the town’s many historic homes.

John and Vera are on the right. Facing them, on the left, from back to front are Pat Cook, Rose Ann Cook, Vicki Logan, myself, Shelley Dziedzic, Shelley’s escort Jay (or "Capt. Jay," as Shelley called him), and George Behe. On the right, from the back, are Roy Mengot, Mike Herbold, Margaret (a friend of Doug’s), Doug and, as already mentioned, the Gillespies.

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Mar 20, 2000
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This is the Gillespies with me at one of the parties held at Doug’s house. They had earlier showed us all their album of Titanic memorabilia that included some Lucile fashion sketches —— so you know they were bound to become my new best friends!

Vera we’re thinking of you.

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Jun 8, 2002
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Hi, Randy and all...

Thanks for that image of the Gillespies and so many other fine folk. I treasure the memories of that weekend and the friendships begun or galvanized on that occasion. I hope to experience a convivial, apolitical event like that again someday.

Randy, I want to say publicly how much I enjoyed both your book on Dorothy Gibson and the oustanding article on Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon, in The Titanic Commutator. Thanks, as always, for sharing your scholarship with the Titanic community worldwide.

Best regards all around,

Doug Willingham
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Thanks Doug:

You deserve all the credit for making that weekend what it was. I just regret that life was so hectic at that time that I wasn’t able to post to ET all the pictures I took at the gathering.

And thanks for your comments about the book and article. I recall your saying you had bought the book but didn’t know if you had. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I was thinking of my grandmother today, who died just after I returned from your event, and in looking over her pictures, I ran across these of the Titanic weekend. All of you were so kind to me in my loss, particularly John and Vera, that I wanted to remember John now.

Randy
 
Aug 29, 2000
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An excellent picture of the couple indeed. Hard to believe all that has transpired in the two intervening years since that photo was taken at that particular event in Salado. Time flies.I understand Vera was able to be present at the recent THS convention in Massachusetts, and I am sure John would loved to have been there too. I hope to see her in Chicago for TIS convention in May 19-21, 2006.
 
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