Nelson Roy Gillespie Jr.
December 15, 1937 – November 2, 2018
Nelson Roy Gillespie, Jr., 80 years old of Montgomery, Alabama passed away on November 2, 2018. Roy was born in White City, Alabama and graduated from Billingsley High School. He was a patriot and served in the United States Army as a Private First Class in Company D, 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 4th Armor Division as a Tanker at McKee Barracks, Germany. He often spoke of serving in Germany and the lifelong friends he made along the way. He loved the Lord and he appreciated the many blessings he was given. Mr. Gillespie is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Virginia Brigance Gillespie; his daughters, Brigitte Diann Reid (Glenn) and their children, Zach, Virginia, and Olivia; Ronda Gail Wilson and her children, Brittany and Christopher Paul; and Regina Carol McMillan and her children, Mays and Anna. Roy was a leader, not only to his family but also to his friends. He loved to talk and share his life experiences with others with the hope that his words would be encouraging and helpful. He would not hesitate to give advice and wanted everyone to be successful. He loved his family and friends dearly and always kept in touch. Virginia was the love of his life. His daughters were the light of his life, and his grandchildren were his greatest joy. Roy took great pride in teaching his children and grandchildren gun safety and hunting techniques. He encouraged all his family to love God’s beautiful outdoors. When Roy was not playing, he was working hard to provide for his family in a job that he loved. He delighted in solving problems. He worked for Alabama Roofing for 7 years until he opened his own company, States Roofing and Metal Co, in 1966. Roy enjoyed 43 years of completing large roofing projects across the country. He set high goals and he was determined to achieve more than anyone could have thought possible. Mr. Gillespie was a member of Frazer United Methodist Church. The family will be receiving friends on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm at Frazer UMC. A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 2:00 pm in the Sanctuary of Frazer UMC. Burial will immediately follow at Alabama Heritage Cemetery. Flowers will be accepted, or donations may be made in memory of Mr. Gillespie to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation to honor his loving wife.
- Visitation Tuesday, November 6, 2018
- Celebration of Life Service Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Nelson Roy Gillespie Jr.
November 6, 2018
In 1971, I went to work for Roy in Fort Knox, Kentucky. This was the first time I had a job outside of the farm and the beginning of a dream. By 1981, I was a superintendent for States Roofing Company. I continued to work closely with Roy until 1994 when I left to start my own roofing company. Over the years Roy had became more to me than just a boss. Roy became a father figure and mentor as I left him to establish my own successful roofing company. Roy continued to support me throughout the years as my business grew. Roy was always there with words of wisdom and support as I navigated the business world. I could never thank Roy enough for all that he taught me.
November 6, 2018
My memory is of how I first met Roy. It was after hurricane andrew. I was at work very busy responding to the storm damage. Our business is roofing. My receptionist told me there was a gentlemen here to see me about subcontracting work from us. I told her to tell him that we self performed all of our work and did not need his services. She told him and he asked her if it was ok if he could wait in our greeting area and she told him ok
The next three days when I arrived at work Roy was sitting in our greeting area dressed in his signature khaki shirt with the camouflage shoulder patch , pressed blue jeans and clean white Reebok’s. Reading a paper and drinking a coffee. I respectfully told him that we didn’t need his services he told me that I would and I just didn’t know it yet. He told me that he had been through this type of situation and he had checked out all the companies in the area and he chose us as the company he would align with. That he had 60 men and all of his own equipment.
On day four, as Roy had foretold, we were over our head with demand with our clients complaining of non performance.
I buzzed the receptionist to ask if the gentleman was still in the greeting area. She said yes and I asked her to send him in. Well he came in and said, “ I told you so”.
That was the beginning of a great friendship. The next 4 years we spent everyday together taking on so many challenges. It left a hole when the work dried up and he had to return back to the road. We often wished we had met ea h other earlier in our lives. To have shared more of our younger lives together
I have had four men in my life that were responsible for shaping me in to the man I have become. My father, who thought me the value of family. My first roofing foreman who taught me a work ethic and the pride in doing a job perfect. Stanley Kline who taught me that roofing was more than a trade but also a business. And Roy who taught me how to produce volume in a perfect way.
November 5, 2018
I have so many fond memories of “Uncle Roy.” He truly was one-of-a-kind with a heart of gold. He was always a protector and encourager to me. Since I was the youngest of the girls growing up on Tiffany Lane--and pretty nerdy and awkward for most of those years--I always appreciated his kindness. He’d say, Hey, I need to tell you something, baby. Then he’d tell me how special I was and how I was gonna grow up to be something. And I knew he was wise and strong, and in those moments, he made me believe in myself. And that meant the world.
Regina, Ronda, Brigitte and Virginia, I am so very sorry for your huge loss. I am often thinking about the great memories with your Dad. I can’t imagine how you are feeling right now. Your dad was a great man and touched so many lives along his way. He will be missed tremendously. We are saying prayers of strength and peace for you and your family.