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Bridget C. Gillespie

Obituary for Bridget C. Gillespie

December 9, 2017
Havertown, Pennsylvania

Loving Mother,, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt


Gillespie, Bridget C. (nee McGee), 82 years of age, of Havertown, PA, gained eternal life on December 9, 2017.

Beloved wife of the late James M. Gillespie. Loving mother of Sheila Gormley (Steve), Patrick Gillespie (Michelle), Mary Cooper (Michael) & James Gillespie (Cristina). Dear Sister of Margaret Doogan , William McGee and Marjorie Howley. Beloved grandmother of Marissa, James, Erin, Caroline, Kevin, Ava, Michael, Caitlin, Sean, Maura, Owen and Sophia. Bridget is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brothers; James, Michael, Anthony, Ownie, Patrick and John, as well as her sisters; Sarah McGee, Mary Anne Crowe, and Anne McGee.

Born in Glenleighan, County Donegal, Ireland, Bridget was the fifth of thirteen children. She would often say that even though her family had limited means, they never knew it. Leaving "home" (as she always called Ireland) at the tender age of 15 years old, she lived with her sister Margaret in Glasgow, Scotland. Three years later, she boarded the Queen Mary ship to America, where she would have more opportunities. She then lived with relatives/friends who helped to get her established in Bryn Mawr, PA. Her siblings in America (Michael, Margie, Anne, Mary Anne, Ownie, and John) were always there for her. They shared many laughs, as well as times of sadness together. Likewise, her siblings in Ireland (James, Willie, Patrick, Anthony, Sally, and Margaret) welcomed her home on many occasions for years to come.

Her one true love was Jimmy Gillespie. While they were married just 15 years before he passed away, Bridget would always recall special dates and their anniversaries. With her husbands early passing, she was left with the challenge of raising four children under the age of 10. Through it all, she remained strong and always commented that she was not alone because she had God's help.

Bridget was also a retiree of the Lower Merion School District, where she was a bus aide to special needs children. She often loved telling stories of the cute things the little kids said and did every day. In between bus runs, she was a housekeeper on the Main Line. She also worked many evenings as a companion for elderly people. Education was so important to her, and she worked so hard, so that her children would have that.

Although she was strict when raising her own children, she always did so with great love and protection. She instilled in each of them a strong work ethic, respect, generosity, love for their Irish heritage, devout faith, and importance of family. Through the tough times, her perspective was always that somebody else may have it even harder. She cherished happy times and could find humor in anything.

Bridget took great joy in her children's daily accomplishments, milestones, and career choices. Her greatest accomplishment, as a mother, was to see her children choose wonderful spouses and watch them raise her beloved grandchildren. Bridget's arms were always held open to them, with her beautiful smile and warm laugh. She loved to teach them rhymes/poems, how to count in Gaelic, and would always sing to them.

As the years passed and her memory sadly faded, Bridget moved to St. Francis Country House. There, she was cared for the most kind and loving staff. She befriended so many residents there who fondly remember her attending daily Mass, saying the Rosary, reading the Philadelphia Inquirer in the lobby each day, playing Bingo, and sitting in the garden watching the little birds. She made so many people smile and laugh everyday by her kind heart and loving demeanor.

Bridget will be greatly missed by so many. Her family takes great comfort in the great lessons they learned from her, as well as many funny memories/stories they have of her.

Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing Wednesday evening 7-9:00 PM, and Thursday morning 8:30-9:45 AM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 8401 W. Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA (610) 449-0300, followed by her Funeral Mass on Thursday 10:30 AM at Sacred Heart Church. Interment SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations made out to Sacred Heart Church, 105 Wilson Avenue, Havertown, PA 19083 or Little Sisters of the Poor, 5300 Chester Ave. Philadelphia, PA in Bridget's memory would be appreciated.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Sacred Heart Church
    105 Wilson Road
    Havertown, PA 19083
  • Little Sisters of the Poor (Philadelphia)
    5300 Chester Ave.
    Philadelphia, PA 19143

Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
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Arrangements By

Donohue Funeral Homes, Inc.

8401 W Chester Pike
Upper Darby, PA 19082
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