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Obituary: Gillespie, Nancy Grace (Schulein)

Age 84

GILLESPIE, Nancy Grace (Schulein) Nancy (Nank) was born on June 26, 1928, to Sidney Arthur and Olivia Freisheimer Schulein, younger sibling to brother Sid. Nancy died in her home of 59 years on Thursday, February 7th, following a second battle with breast cancer. As a child, Nancy enjoyed Campfire Girls, tennis, singing and acting. Nancy attended Irving, Roosevelt and Lewis & Clark schools and then received an Associate Arts degree in Radio Broadcasting from Stephens College in St. Louis, MO. Nancy finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 1968 from Gonzaga University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Nancy married Jim Gillespie in 1950 and they shared a loving marriage until his death in June, 1998. Nancy had four children, Robin (Irwin Lightstone, grandchildren Barbara and Marty), Kitty, Janet and Nancy Josephine. Her extended family includes Angel (Kathy) and Alberto (Shannon) Diez who shared life in the Gillespie household as young teens and Xuanly Ha (Kien). Nancy loved camping, family ski weekends, knitting, sewing, gardening, cooking, huckleberry picking, stained glass art, handwriting analysis, reading and bridge. Nancy worked for 19 years as a probation and parole officer. Nancy actively championed human rights by example: she served on the Spokane Human Rights Commission, the Airway Heights Corrections Center Community Relations Board, the Public Defenders Oversight Board, and the St. Augustine Church Council. Nancy dedicated many years energetically working with Spokane Alliance, which has helped to initiate important social change through planful, community-based activism. Nancy was an open-minded, lifelong learner who inspired many to “be their best selves.” Her legacy as an advocate for social justice will continue in the hearts and actions of others. A Catholic Mass in celebration of her life will be held on Friday, February 15th at 11:00 am at St. Augustine Church with a reception following in the Parish hall. Committal will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Spokane Alliance.