Joan Louise Gillespie passed away on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 in Frisco, Texas. She was born in Wichita, Kansas, to Harvey C. Ausherman and Grace Matson Ausherman, and grew up in Cheney, Kansas, where she graduated from high school in 1947. During her youth, Joan joyfully sang in glee clubs, performing at many music festivals, and created artwork by drawing and painting (her grandmother, who lived with Joan, had oil pictures hanging in the Kansas capital building). Joan graduated in the class of 1951 from the University of Kansas with a degree in English, while continuing to sing at concerts, paint with oils and draw, creating beautiful illustrations and pictures.
Joan taught English in Kansas high schools a couple of years and then was recruited by her sister to teach in Victoria, Texas. It was there that she met Donald Roemer, whom she would marry and start a family. She maintained her singing with the church choir, became president of the Woodlawn Garden Club, and participated in the Decora Study Club, as history and literature were her favorite subjects. After she was widowed, Harold Gillespie, a pilot of his own plane, proposed to her while flying her over south Texas. They settled in Corpus Christi and continued to enjoy traveling around the United States and Europe throughout their lives.
They became dedicated members of the Jenny Hill Cooper class at the First United Methodist Church of Corpus Christi and annual patrons of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. Joan and Harold loved to entertain, hosting many parties of 42, bridge, luncheons, and holiday events. Joan started a quilting group, which met at their house each week. Her award-winning quilts were shown at several festivals, but she mostly enjoyed the camaraderie of dear friends and creating artistic and traditional quilts from beautiful fabrics, all of which she gave to family members and friends as gifts. This close group of friends enjoyed attending the annual Houston International Quilt Festival for decades. They were supportive of each other and forged friendships that lasted through their lives. Joan was also active in the American Association of University Women, Corpus Christi Country Club, several book clubs, and genealogical research, writing two books on her family history. Superbly organized and tidy, she led many organizations, once commenting, “It seems that whatever group I join, I usually end up being asked to be president.” She was known for her artistic talent, hospitality, and generosity, and was a caring, devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She will be deeply missed.
Joan was predeceased by her husbands, Donald Roemer and Harold Gillespie, her sister Margaret Curry, and her brothers, Dale Ausherman, Harvey Ausherman, Jr., and Paul Ausherman. She is survived by her sons, John Gillespie and spouse, Ingrid, of Austin, and Dane Gillespie and spouse, Debbie, of Frisco, and daughter Rebecca Edwards, and spouse Clifford, of Austin. Joan leaves behind five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at the Reid Chapel at Seaside Memorial Park followed by a Funeral Service at 1:30 PM. Interment with graveside services will be held at Seaside Memorial Park.
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