Robert William (Bill) Gillispie, age 87, passed away April 09, 2012 in Oakdale, CA. Born January 10, 1925 in Ripon, CA, he was a lifelong resident of Escalon, CA.
He lived his 87 years farming the walnut and almond ranch, where he grew up. Bill was a civil engineer, and retired as chief construction and traffic engineer after 41 years from Caltrans. The highlight of his career was supervising the completion of the final leg of Interstate 5, the highway project that stretches from the Mexican to the Canadian border.
After graduating from Ripon High School, Bill attended the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He then enlisted in the US Marine Corps during WW II and was stationed in various islands of the Pacific. Upon completing his military service, Bill graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Engineering with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.
Described by many as a true public servant, Bill served on several boards and committees with honesty and courage to make the right (not always easy) decisions and use common sense. His service included: San Joaquin County Planning Commissioner for 26 years, San Joaquin Civil Service Commissioner for 12 years, Van Allen School Board for 3 years and San Joaquin County Grange Credit Union President/Chair for 25 years.
He was an active member and supporter of the following organizations; Escalon Masonic Lodge for 65 years serving as Master in 1968, Ben Ali Shrine Club, Past President of Escalon Shrine Club, Member of Stockton Scottish Rite and member of the Escalon Grange for 50 years. He was also an active volunteer with the San Joaquin County Office of Education TOPS (Teaching Opportunities Partners in Science) Program and the Friends of the Escalon Library.
He is survived by the “light of his life” (his favorite term of endearment), his wife of 60 years, Audrey (Mensinger) Gillispie, his children; daughter Diane Alcorn and husband Douglas of Escalon, son Robert (Bob) Gillispie and wife Diane of Modesto and daughter Linda Hischier of Modesto. His grandchildren include Katie Jefferson and husband R. J. of Escalon, Meg Alcorn of Escalon, David Gillispie of Modesto and Kathie Hischier of Modesto.
Private graveside service at Burwood Cemetery. The family would like to express their appreciation to the physicians and professional staff of Oak Valley Hospital District.
Remembrances may be made to the following: Friends of the Escalon Library 1540 Second Street Escalon, CA 95320 Escalon Masonic Lodge #591 Memorial Fund PO Box 387 Escalon, CA 95320-0387 Shriners Hospital for Children 2425 Stockton Blvd Sacramento, CA 95817
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, April 13, 2012