Cover photo for Tom Gillespie's Obituary

Tom Gillespie

December 2, 1945 — June 2, 2023

Seabrook Island, SC

Tom Gillespie


Harvey Thomas “Tom” Gillespie passed away on June 2, 2023 at the age of 77 with his wife and children at his side, in the serenity of Seabrook Island, SC, ending a courageous battle with cancer. Despite the challenge, Tom remained strong, with enduring devotion to his family, friends, and the communities and causes he cared deeply about. 

Growing up in Ithaca, NY and graduating from Cornell University, Tom had a fondness for summers on Cayuga Lake, the Big Red, and friendships that would last a lifetime. His love for travel was instilled from a young age by his parents Jim and Ginny Gillespie, exploring National Parks and enjoying sabbaticals to California and Europe with his father’s professorship. 

Tom met the love of his life, Tracey, by way of a dear friend, and it was love at first sight. As devoted partners and soulmates, Tom and Tracey built a beautiful life together, first in Short Hills NJ, then Charlotte NC and finally Seabrook Island. With a love for travel and great food, their motto became “live to travel, love to eat,” which they shared with their children Abby Gillespie (husband Ben Nussbaum) of Charlottesville VA, and Andrew Gillespie (wife Amanda) of Richmond VA. Tom was a devoted father, a proud Papa Dogg to his grandchildren Jack, Clara, and Maggie, and loving brother to Janet Gillespie (Ithaca NY) and Ian Gillespie (La Veta CO). 

Tom was a dreamer and a doer, and his legacy is the many initiatives he cultivated and supported, including founding his company TNT Enterprises, igniting the dialogue to build a medical school in Charlotte, and supporting numerous musical and charitable organizations including Charlotte Chamber Music, Jazz at the Bechtler, Hagar's Basket, Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy, Seabrook Island Employee Assistance Fund, and his favorite group, The Shack Band. Tom was a proud connector of people and ideas, genuinely interested in hearing peoples’ stories, never hesitating to chat with a friend, or a stranger, and always offering support . 

Tom will be honored at a celebration of life on Friday, August 4, 2023 at 1:00 PM at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, NC. In lieu of flowers, Tom would be honored with a donation to  Geoff Nuttall Legacy Fund | Spoleto Festival USA 2023 ( or Hagar’s Basket at Online Giving | St. John's ( or Seabrook Island Employee Assistance Fund in his memory. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Tom Gillespie, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, August 4, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

St John's Episcopal Church

1623 Carmel Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

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