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Betty Jean Rasnick Gillespie, 84 of Charleston passed away on Tuesday night, September 16, 2014 at Charleston Area Medical Center Memorial Division. She was born May 1, 1930 to Allen and Clara Leota Counts Rasnick in Kingston, WV. Her father was a popular mine foreman who moved several times. Betty grew up primarily in Jerryville and graduated from Webster Springs High School in 1948. Her advanced education was interrupted by having to return home to provide daily care for her sick mother.
On December 3, 1950 she married William H. Gillespie and moved to Morgantown, where he was in Forestry School, and more than earned a PHT degree (Putting Husband Through) undergraduate and graduate school. Betty, as all those familiar know, was a vital part of her husband's various positions as College Professor, Assistant Agriculture Commission, State Forester, and as a professional consultant in his fields. Their first child, William Allen, a Physician in New York City, was born September 22, 1951. This was followed by Linda Marlene, now deceased, an elementary Mathematics Teacher in Kanawha County Schools, born December 16, 1952; Clifton Paul, a Computer Specialist in Harrisburg, PA, born June 18, 1955; James David, deceased by accident at age 14, born August 4, 1960; and Laura Lee, a Physical Therapist in Raleigh, NC, born September 10, 1961. Four of the children have presented the family with eight grandchildren and there are now 13 great-grandchildren.
Betty was one of ten children. She was preceded in death by three sisters and one brother who died as infants; Hazel Fredrick Snyder who passed in 1964, Mabel in 1938 and Virginia in 1937. She is survived by sisters Clara Lee Neal of Alexandria, VA and Billie Agnes Maul of Shinnston, WV and their families of nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
Once Betty had her family nearly raised, she returned to school and became a Licensed Practical Nurse working on OB-GYN at the Charleston Area Medical Center for ten years followed by an additional ten years at the Thomas Memorial Hospital. She retired from both, after which she supported her husband Bill's Consulting Business.
Memorial Services to celebrate Betty's life will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM at Dodd & Reed Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Miller Cemetery, Webster Springs. In lieu of flowers, the family requests Memorial Contributions be made to your local Cancer Fund of your choice.
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