Maria Julia Gillespie

December 20, 1928May 28, 2021

My mother loved music, animals, and children. She did not like funerals. Therefore, rather than a traditional funeral, please think of my mom the next time you listen to classical music, pet or feed an animal, or spend time with a child. If you want to reach further, please consider a donation that supports one of her loves.

My mother was one of Huntsville Concert Band’s most dedicated audience members. It was her encouragement that nurtured my love of wind band music. To find out more about this band: Using a link on this page donations can be made to the band to honor my mother and other “Music Moms” who support a love of music in their children. If you prefer, a check can be sent to: HCB PO Box 2358; Huntsville, AL 35804

When my mother moved to assisted living, she had to give up her cat, Ginger. We were not able to bring Ginger into our home, but the Greater Huntsville Humane Society was able to take her in and find a new “forever” home for her. Donations can be made to the GHHS using their Website at: Thrive Alabama, a local medical facility (600 St Clair Ave SW Bldg 3, Huntsville, AL 35801), will soon have a new treatment facility that helps children without regards to ability to pay

More about my mother:

My mother was born into an immigrant family of five children (Rosa, Severiana, Manuel, and Adoracion). Her father, Manuel, was from Spain, via Cuba. Her mother was from Cuba. The family settled in Miami, Florida after their second child was born in Key West. Tragedy struck the family in 1932 when my grandfather died leaving the family to be raised in financial poverty but far from poor in spirit. My grandmother, along with an aunt (Angelica) who immigrated to the USA with the family raised the five children while speaking little English and washing clothes for a living. The sadness of death struck again when Rosa contracted Tuberculosis and died at age 19. After several years of what the family believed was Alzheimer’s, Angelica died. Mom’s remaining siblings died as adults.

Mom married my father in 1950 and bore two children. My brother Fredrick and I were 13 months apart and blessed with lives less touched by death and hardship. As I’m sure friends can imagine there are many stories entwined in this way too short summary of mom’s life. Perhaps someday I’ll massage it into a book.

No services are planned at this time.


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Maria Julia Gillespie

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