Gibbons Family Funeral Home, Ltd.
5917 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60634-2618

Phone:(773) 777-3944

Fax:(773) 777-3295


Kathleen Gillespie

Kathleen (nee Ward) Gillespie

Born in Nobber, County Meath, Ireland to the late Peter and Mary (nee Hand) Ward; beloved wife of the late Charles Gillespie; loving mother of Maureen, Rose (Brian) Doherty and James; cherished grandmother of Kevin Doherty and Katie (Brian) Timmreck; soon to be a great-grandmother. Predeceased by her siblings Lawrence Ward of Rathgar, Dublin Ireland, Margaret Risberg of Royal Oak, Michigan, and Mary Josephine Merrigan of Orange, California.

As an infant, Kathleen lost her parents to illness and spent her childhood in a convent orphanage in Kells, Ireland. After leaving the orphanage at 14, she lived with her Aunt Kate (nee Ward) Rogers in Dublin. As a young woman, Kathleen followed her sisters to Chicago and lived with her Aunt Maggie (nee Hand) Casey and her daughter, Mary Casey. A few months later, she met the tall and handsome Charles Gillespie at an Irish dance, who had himself just arrived from Donegal, Ireland. They soon fell in love, married, and built a beautiful life together in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. They worked hard jobs to give their children every opportunity that they never had, instilling the value of a Catholic education, and keeping their Irish culture alive with dance and music lessons—all three becoming champion Irish dancers. Known for her shock of red hair, charm, and quick wit, Kathleen the “Little Red Tornado” Gillespie most loved spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Visitation Friday 3-8PM and Saturday 9:00 AM until time of prayer 9:45 AM at Gibbons Family Funeral Home, 5917 W. Irving Park Rd. (1/2 Block East of Austin). Funeral Mass Saturday 10:30 AM at St Eugene Church, 7958 W. Foster Ave. Interment Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Rd., Hillside; Lady of Knock Section 42, Lot 11. For info 773-777-3944 or

Tribute Video

Visitation Date



Service Location

Friday 3:00-8:00 PM
Saturday 9:00-9:45 AM
Gibbons Family Funeral Home
5917 W. Irving Park Road

Funeral Mass
Saturday 10:30 AM
St Eugene Church
7958 W. Foster Ave.

Queen of Heaven Cemetery
Section 42 Lady of Knock, Lot 11
1400 S. Wolf Road

This post has 5 comments
Patricia Mogridge
18 Oct 2023

We’re so deeply sorry for your loss. She was very special to us and will be greatly missed. Love to all of you. Pat and Jon

Eileen Hilburn
18 Oct 2023

My sincerest condolences, Cousins & extended family. May Jesus give you comfort and peace, and May sweet Aunt Kathleen RIP

Meg Rickman
20 Oct 2023

She sounds like she lived a life and has passed on her fire for all things Irish to her family. I’m sorry you lost her, but hopefully stories and memories of her will help you in the days and years ahead. Hugs n love

Susan O'Gorman-Troy
21 Oct 2023

James very sorry to her about your mother, may she rest in peace. Love from your dance friend Susan O’Gorman-Troy (Chicago/ Dublin) Condolences to all your family members. Love Sue

Lyn Dupee
21 Oct 2023

Sorry for your loss. Lyn Dupee


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