Gladess H Crisp

August 16, 1930October 13, 2020

A bright light with a big smile, Gladess Hudspeth Crisp, long time resident of Chapel Hill, NC, died Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at her home in the Ridges at Peoria, Arizona. Born August 16, 1930, in China Grove, NC, she was the daughter of Thomas Aaron Hudspeth and Pearl Wilson Hudspeth, one of six children. Sisters Wilma Billie Thomason and Peggie Marie Powell, brothers Robert, Thomas, and Paul Hudspeth, predeceased her. Gladess attended Mars Hill College in the mountains of NC, where she met her future husband, James Ray Crisp. Married in 1948, she worked to help support Jim while he continued his studies. In 1949, their first son, James R. Crisp, Jr., was born. After freezing in Oberlin, OH, for a few years while Jim studied music, they moved to Chapel Hill, NC, and Gladess began working in claims for BCBS. When Jim was called up for the Korean War, Gladess returned to Concord to live with her parents and work as a seamstress at Cannon Mills. After Jim won the war, they returned to Chapel Hill and Gladess resumed working at BCBS. Daughter Evelyn Elise Crisp, born in 1955, was followed by son Philip Aaron Crisp two years later. In the 1960’s, Gladess worked at the Jim Crisp Insurance Agency, while helping with daughter Lynn’s Girl Scout Brownie Troop. Early in the 70’s, she divorced, attended UNC for her nursing degree., and in 1974, began working in NC Memorial Hospital’s new Day Op Surgery Department, where she later became head nurse. After 20 plus years, she retired. Gladess was a huge UNC basketball fan. She was pregnant with son Phil during the National Championship game between UNC and Kansas in 1957. With the help of Gladess’ fierce cheering, UNC won! Gladess was a Deacon and active charter member of Binkley Baptist Church, founded in 1958. She was very devoted to Binkley and its members, making many lasting friendships and memories there. Gladess was a member of the Lake Forest Garden Club for many years. Around 1986, she took up golf and joined the Chapel Hill Country Club, becoming a member of the Nifty Niners, (some said it was good she only played nine holes at a time). In her spare time, Gladess avidly read novels. Each time she moved, movers Phil and Karen hated all the boxed books! In addition to her own long battle with different types of cancer, two of her beloved children died from cancer, Lynn in 1969 and Jim, Jr., in 2014. She is survived by her son Phil (Karen) of Peoria, AZ; granddaughters Brittany (Michael Powell) of Raleigh, and Paula of Chicago; Karen’s son Michael LaCross of Cary; daughter-in-law Barbara Gallagher of Chapel Hill; grandson Jimmy III (Leilani), great grandchildren Virginia Rose, Jimmy IV, Katie, Kaia, Charlize, Keira, and great great grandson Ryan, all of Chapel Hill. Also surviving are ex-relatives but still friends Jim Crisp, Sr, (Elizabeth Chastain), Harriet Crisp, and Ann Crisp as well as many loving nieces, nephews and devoted friends.

Services will be held sometime in the near future at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

Binkley Baptist Church 1712 Willow Dr. Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Please feel free to leave memories and condolences to the family via this website.


  • Memorial & Celebration of Life to be announced in the future


Gladess H Crisp

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Williams

October 18, 2020

So sorry for your loss! Gladess was a great boss! UNC will miss her!!

Gretchen Jordan

October 17, 2020

So many shared times at Binkley and fond memories. Blessed to have those memories❤️

Joe Gallagher

October 16, 2020

I remember Gladess and her beaming smile, filled with sincerity and genuine love for all. Her wonderful spirit endures with the legacy of her extended family. I hope that her memories bring warm thoughts and feelings to the minds of hearts of all, as in me. RIP Gladess. Thank you for sharing some of your life journey with me. I am a better person knowing you and your family. I love you Gladess.

Michael and Kathy Powell

October 16, 2020

We are so sad to hear of your loss. Gladess came into our lives when our son, Michael, married her grand daughter, Brittany. Very quickly, we came to love her in so many ways. What a sweet, sweet lady. She always had a smile for everyone. I enjoyed reading her obituary so much and can easily envision her cheering those tarheels on to victory. She will be missed but the sky will be a much brighter shade of blue now....what a beautiful angel she will be!!! It is never easy to lose anyone but it is especially hard with someone as dear as Gladess. We love you.


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