Alan Clifford Gillespie passed away on February 18, 2006, at the age of 75. He was born to John "Young Ket" and Corrie Gillespie in Chicago, Illinois on October 3, 1930. He lived an extraordinary life. He was a pilot, a helicopter pilot as well as an accomplished sailor, writer, publisher, entrepreneur, developer, inventor and teacher. He was a veteran of the army and met his first wife Doris while guarding the Panama Canal during the Korean War. She passed away in 2003. During their 37 year marriage they had four children who survive them today: Karen Van Skike, Pamela Hintze (Rick), Alan (Brenda) and Sean (Elissa) Gillespie. He earned a degree from the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and continued his studies at the University of Chicago where he also taught. He authored several books on history, both anecdotal and non-fiction, as well as fictional action books and short stories. He founded the Institute for University Studies (IUS) in the 60's, the first national home study college program, where he met with and recorded some of the most famous professors of our time, including Margaret Mead, Robert Pen Warren, and B.F. Skinner. He also started the Institute for Aeronautical Education which produced the Flight Handbook still in use today by pilots' world wide. Among his inventions of note were the post card record album, as well as the mileage and fuel calculator that had opposing wheels with windows. Alan biked europe, lived with the San Blas Indians, was fluent in both San Blas and Spanish, sailed the Atlantic, discovered sunken wrecks, was a guest on both television (winning on "To Tell The Truth") and radio. He developed landmark buildings, started many companies, survived plane and helicopter crashes, and met world leaders. Those who knew him appreciated his fun and gregarious nature, and enjoyed tales of his full and adventurous life. In 1991 Alan married Annette Gillespie who was by his side when he passed. Alan was a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his brother Tom, four children, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We will miss you, Papa. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to Hospice Inspiris in Alan's name at 2025 North 3rd Street; #250; Phoenix, Arizona 85004. Services were held at Hansen Mortuary; 6500 East Bell Road; Scottsdale, Arizona on the 24th of February 2006 at 12:00 noon. He was interred at the National cemetery at Pinnacle Peak and Cave Creek Roads following the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. [from The Arizona Republic 2.23.2006]
The Beaver Island Community School celebrated President's Day on February 20th. While many schools close for this holiday, the island one does not. Instead of regular classes, grades 1 through 12 took part in all sorts of activities designed to increase their knowledge of past and present Presidents. The day started with a flag ceremony in the gym where, after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance both staff and a good number of students showed off their costumes. Attending the celebration were: George Washington and wife, Martha; Teddy Roosevelt; Barbara Bush; Ronald Regan; Abraham Lincoln; George Bush and wife, Laura; John Kennedy and several Jackie O's. During the day the students took part in such games as Presidential Jeopardy, Hail to the Chief, Mind Obstacle Course, 3D Capitol Building puzzle and several other activities. An all-school assembly began at 1:15 where winners of the various contests were announced and all grades competed in a relay race. Kudos go to all the teachers and staff for organizing this event.
Despite bitter artic cold and a blizzard, work on the Community House continues as the roof was put up and shingling has begun. How these workers stand doing the job under these weather conditions is totally beyond me.
For most of the winter of 2005/06 we've had to tell far-away friends and family that the harbor wasn't frozen. After the past week with the wind chill in the minus double digits we can now say that the water of the harbor is hard. If the tail end of this season remains cold we just may need an ice-breaker before the ferry starts up again in April although right now it's only froze within the harbor while just outside there's lots of open water as far as one can see.
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