Larry Gillespie

In Loving Memory of Larry Gillespie

Larry Gillespie, 96, passed away on Thursday, July 9, 2020. Originally from Missouri Valley, Iowa, he served in WW II with the 10th Mountain Division Special Forces Ski Troops. He attended Arizona State, and graduated from Drake University where he played football and was a DD award winner. From 1955-1985 he served in the roles of teacher, coach, vice-principal, and principal at DM Tech. He was also a long-time manager at Southtown pool and worked at Adventureland after retirement.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty, with whom he had two children; Shelley Fisher (Bill) and Marty Gillespie (Nancy). He has 6 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was also married to Kathleen Allen after the death of his first wife. Larry was an inspiration to his family, friends, players, and students. He will be truly missed by all of those whose lives he touched.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Larry will be buried with Betty in Missouri Valley.



  • Dr. Larry Martindale Posted July 11, 2020 7:33 am

    Dear Shelley, Marty, Kathleen, and Family:
    It was with much sadness that I read Larry‘s obituary in the Des Moines Register. Larry and I go back quite a few years when we were both swimming pool managers for the city of Des Moines. I was at Birdland and Good Park swimming pools, and also was the vice principal at ALHS, and the principal at May Goodrell and at TRHS. Larry was well known and highly regarded by both teachers, students, and fellow administrators. He did an especially good job as principal of Tech high school. We’ve had many wonderful conversations down through the years and I will miss Larry, his colorful language, and his spot on opinions. Our thoughts and prayers will be with each of you in the days and months that lie ahead

    • MARTY GILLESPIE Posted August 20, 2020 12:38 pm

      Thank you Larry. Appreciate your thoughts and comments. I am amazed but not surprised by how many people have reached out with great comments that are nice to hear at this time. Thank you. I had some great summers at those pools! Marty Gillespie

  • Claus H. Bunz Posted July 16, 2020 12:53 pm

    To the Family of Coach Larry Gillespie;
    I recently learned from reading The Des Moines Register that Coach Larry Gillespie has passed away. I was privileged to have him as a coach in basketball, football, track and baseball while he coached and taught at Manning High School. He was a great coach, educator and wonderful human being. He served our country during World War II with distinction and was an outstanding example of what an educator, coach and leader should be. I have nothing but wonderful memories of him. He made those of use who played for him always strive to do our best and run ( many times!) the extra mile. I found him to be the best of persons.
    My deepest condolences and most sincere sympathy to you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    • MARTY GILLESPIE Posted August 20, 2020 12:40 pm

      Claus; Thank you for your comments. Manning was really special place and he always loved his players and the sports passion that the town had. He often thought he maybe should have stayed at Manning! Thank you,Marty Gillespie

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *