Denise Ann Gillespie (Smith), 70, of Old Bridge Township passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at Saint Peter's University Medical Center, New Brunswick, NJ.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Denise married James Gillespie and started a family in Gerritsen Beach. She then resettled in Old Bridge Township in 1987 as her family grew. She was a loving mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and wife. Family was the heartbeat of her life. She was a patient, selfless, funny, caring person and an amazing mother of eleven children. She especially treasured being "Nanny" to her 24 grandchildren. For 21 years, she worked as a noon hour supervisor at the McDivitt Elementary School in Old Bridge Township where some of her children and grandchildren attended. Denise loved the beach and spent many days on the New Jersey Shore beaches of Spring Lake and Long Beach Island. She loved her many friends and was always quick to make a new friend out of a stranger wherever she went. Denise was a very proud American who also cherished her deep Irish heritage.
Predeceased by her parents, John and Agnes Smith and her siblings John “Jackie” Smith and Patricia McAuliffe, she is survived by her loving husband of 52 years, James J. Gillespie; her children Denise Bradley and husband Gary, James Gillespie and wife Christine, Christopher Gillespie and wife Crystal, Timothy Gillespie and wife Michelle, Michele Haviland and husband Daniel, Tara Denworth and husband Jeffrey, Thomas Gillespie and fiancée Aisling Melillo, Erin Rybek and husband Christopher and, Sean, Patrick, and the bright light of her life, John Gillespie; her siblings Elizabeth Ann Volpe, husband Peter and daughter Jaclyn and Michael Smith and wife Desiree, and; her grandchildren Kelly, Colleen, Ryan, Julianna, James, Natalie, Owen, Aidan, Scarlett, Quinn, Luke, Brady, Jane, Jack, Molly, Kennedy, Emmett, Charlotte, Hannah, Theodore, Emma, Sophie, Olivia, and her future grandchild due in April of 2022
Funeral services will begin with a 10:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial from Immaculate Heart of Mary RC Church 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, New York, to be followed by interment in Saint Catherine's Cemetery 1100 West Chicago Avenue, Sea Girt, NJ. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at Spotswood Funeral Home 475 Main Street, Spotswood. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations honoring Denise's memory be made to Susan G. Komen for the cure breast cancer research at www.komen.org.
To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit www.spotswoodfh.com.
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