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1929 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
JUDITH BELKNAP Judith Mitchell Belknap, 88, of Henderson, passed away peacefully January 24, 2018, with her family by her side. She was born July 15, 1929, in Detroit, Michigan, to Ivan and Julia Belknap, founders of the Van F. Belknap Co., Inc., automotive and aerospace tool manufacturers. Near the end of World War II, Judy graduated from Detroit's Redford High School and then attended Wayne State University, where she met and married James M. Gillespie, who together raised a large family while living first in Detroit, followed by Chicago, Illinois, then Cleveland, Ohio, and ultimately in East Lansing, Michigan. Divorced after more than two decades of marriage, Judy returned to college and completed her B.A. in Home Economics and M.A. degrees in Education at Michigan State University. She first taught in East Lansing Schools before deciding to relocate to the desert southwest, where she taught classes in Home Economics, Special Education, and Career Studies at schools in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Las Vegas. Judy was a lively, curious and talkative person. She loved people and continued to maintain meaningful friendships from high school, extensive international travel, and her faithful duplicate bridge community. She was especially proud to have attained the level of Life Master competing in a national bridge tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2010. Judy was also, like her mother Julia, a talented pianist. She was able to play almost any Chopin composition with emotion and proficiency. Judy loved to read, especially history and often made her travels related to places that were significant from an historical perspective. Besides reading, Judy was a talented hobbyist of miniatures. Her home was filled with accurate and detailed renditions of both imagined and real small-scale houses and rooms, including the kitchen where she grew up in Detroit. Judy is survived by seven children and 10 grandchildren. Her children, in birth order, are Bruce Andrew Gillespie of New Mexico, Mark Alan Gillespie of Michigan, David Mitchell Gillespie of California, Robb Steven Gillespie of Michigan, Hollis Jill Gillespie of Nevada, Paula Beth Robison of Michigan, and Paul Duncan Gillespie of California. She was preceded in death by her son, Scott Duncan Gillespie; and grandson, Benjamin Charles Burke-Gillespie. Memorial service will be 2-5 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at Sun City MacDonald Ranch Clubhouse, 2020 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway, Henderson, NV 89012. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. In lieu of flowers, you may make a tribute gift in Judy Belknap's name to Vegas PBS, 3050 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121, (702) 799-1010.
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