Gillespie, Leona E.
Leona E. Gillespie of Delton passed away peacefully at her home on July 3, 2018 after a brief illness. Leona was born November 5, 1924 in Sturgis, Michigan. She graduated from Kellogg High School in 1942. Before moving to Delton, Leona raised her six children in Richland, MI. Leona was preceded in death by her parents Clyde and Eva VanPelt, her first husband Charles Downey, daughter Deborah Schultz and her siblings Alvin VanPelt, Kenneth VanPelt and Hugh “Butch” VanPelt. Leona is survived by her brother Clyde “Bug” VanPelt of Cadillac, her children Dorris (Joe) Milan of Richland, Charles Downey of Lawton, Dale Downey of Delton, Cindy (Bud) Glenn of Delton and Michael (Judy) Gillespie of Corbin, KY.
Leona enjoyed spending time gardening and watching the birds at her feeders. An avid Detroit Tigers fan, those that knew her realized that game time was not the time to call and chat or visit. She enjoyed watching her 12 grandchildren grow and raise their 17 children, who lovingly called her “GG”. After retiring from Richard Allen Scientific she became an active volunteer at the Delton VFW where she made many great friends. She always said she was happiest in her kitchen baking goodies for others. If you stopped and visited Leona you were sure to be greeted with a homemade treat and candy on her coffee table. The family is forever grateful to Amy and Bree whom Leona adored from Grace Hospice in Kalamazoo for the loving care that they provided the last few months of her life.
Arrangements and cremation have been entrusted to the care of the Avink Funeral Home. Memorial service will be held on Saturday July 7, 2018 at 10:00am at St. Timothy’s Church 9800 BC Avenue Richland, MI 49083 with Rev. Joel Turmo officiating. Friends and family are invited to stay after to enjoy a dessert reception. In lieu of flowers the family (and Leona) request that donations be made in her name to Grace Hospice of Kalamazoo 2725 Airview Blvd #101 Portage, MI 49002 or Delton Memorial VFW Post 442 PO Box 305 Delton, MI 49046.