Clyde Gillispie Obituary, Graford Mourns Passing of Community Icon

Clyde Gillispie Obituary, Death – Clyde Dean Gillispie, affectionately known as Rabbit, Pee Wee, and Deanie, was a remarkable man whose life was filled with love, family, and community spirit. Born on June 4, 1935, in Graford, Texas, to Clyde Norman and Rena Kinder Gillispie, Clyde was the youngest of nine siblings. He passed away peacefully on August 26, 2023, at the age of 88, surrounded by his loving family at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, Texas.

Clyde’s life was marked by dedication and service, both in the military and within his community. After finishing his junior year of high school in 1954, he joined the Army, serving with The 433 Missile Battalion in Fort Lewis, Washington. Upon his honorable discharge, Clyde returned to Graford, where he worked as a truck driver and later at Southern Airways. His journey eventually led him to a career with Rife Production as a driller, contributing to the drilling of numerous oil wells in Palo Pinto County.

In 1958, Clyde Dean married Winifred “Wimpy” Calk Mitchell, becoming a loving father to her daughters, Phyllis and Marla Kay Mitchell. Together, they had a son, Billy Clyde, and two daughters, Deana Sue and Jerry Lou. Clyde Dean was not only a devoted husband and father but also a pillar of support for his children’s sports endeavors, earning a reputation for being ever-present on the “GRAFORD BENCH.”

His commitment to the community extended beyond the sidelines. Clyde helped establish the Graford Ball Park Assoc. in 1969 and played a crucial role in building Eubanks Field, providing a place for local children to play summer league baseball. He also dedicated his time to coaching Little League teams and served eight years on the Graford ISD Board of Trustees.

Clyde’s interests were diverse, from his passion for shooting pool, playing cards, and dominos to his unbeatable skills at the game of Moon. He was an avid sports enthusiast, cheering for teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, and any team coached by his son, Billy Clyde. His love for horse racing led to memorable vacations with lifelong friends in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and he cherished rodeo, especially the Texas Cowboy Reunion in Stamford, where he even attempted bronc riding.

Known for his quick wit and magnetic personality, Clyde had a talent for using words and ideas cleverly and imaginatively. He married Vondell Blair in 1997 and spent the remainder of his life in Abilene, Texas.

Clyde Dean Gillispie leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Vondell, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews, and cherished friends. His legacy lives on through the memories he created and the impact he had on his community. In lieu of flowers, contributions to The Graford Ex Student Assoc. Scholarship Fund are appreciated, supporting future generations of students in Graford, Texas. Clyde Dean Gillispie will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

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