Morris Sullins Gillespie died peacefully at Bethany House in Auburn, Alabama, on February 21, 2021. Morris was born February 7, 1928, in Parrottsville, Tennessee, to Gay Steele Gillespie and Edith Grace Mahan Gillespie. He graduated from Parrottsville High School, then attended the University of Tennessee where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Agriculture. Following college, Morris served four years in the U.S. Air Force in the Veterinary Corps. He made many lifelong friendships during his service. After his military service, Morris returned to the University of Tennessee and earned his Master’s degree in Agronomy. In 1956, he began a career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a District Conservationist in Hamblen County, Tennessee. In 1969, he moved to Auburn, Alabama, and continued his career as Public Information Officer with the Soil Conservation Service. He retired in 1994.
Morris was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church and always participated in a church home wherever he lived. In Auburn, he was an active member of the Auburn United Methodist Church and the Joel McDavid Sunday School Class. He was active and enjoyed friendships in Osher Lifelong Learners Institute (OLLI) and the Kiwanis Club of Auburn.
Morris is survived by his wife of 60 years, Geraldine Flowers Gillespie and his children and grandchildren: Sharon Gillespie Williams (Bryan) of Olive Branch, Mississippi, and their son Jeff (Rebecca); Jeffrey Gillespie (Michelle) of Arlington, Virginia, and their son Maxwell; Linda Gillespie of Auburn, Alabama; and Kathy Gillespie Humphrey (Larry) of Opelika, Alabama, and their children Michael, Mary Beth Gardner (Noah), Matthew, and Robert. Morris leaves three sisters, Elizabeth Estep of Tazewell, Tennessee; Ann Walling of Newton, North Carolina; and Mary Bratton of Castlewood, Virginia; a brother-in-law, Steve Flowers (Carol) of Rome, Georgia; and many loved nieces and nephews.
Because of the COVID pandemic, no visitation will be held. A family graveside service will be held at the Town Creek Cemetery in Auburn, Alabama, with the Rev. George Mathison officiating. The family would like to thank the staff of Compassus / Bethany House for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation to the Auburn United Methodist Church or a charity of their choice.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home of Opelika, AL is directing.