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John Lodge Gillespie

Boothbay Harbor, Maine — John Lodge Gillespie, 81, died peacefully Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at St. Andrews Village.

He was born June 9, 1932, in Worcester, Mass., the son of John and Elinor (Lodge) Gillespie. He graduated from Choate in 1950 and attended Dartmouth College, graduating in the class of 1954.  After serving in Germany as a Captain in the United States Air Force, he returned to attend Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and graduated with a B.S. in Hotel Administration in 1962.

On Oct. 19, 1963, he married Sandra Hamill Barnes in Lake Forest, Ill., and their first home was the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago, Ill. After being hired by Needham & Grohmann, an advertising agency specializing in hotel, resort and travel advertising in New York City, John and Sandy relocated to Bronxville and then Scarsdale, N.Y. He was one of the original “Mad Men,” working in Manhattan at the height of the era of the three-martini, expense account lunch. He knew how to live life to its fullest, indulging in travel, food, drink, his friends and family with great exuberance.

He was known for his love of Dartmouth College, service to his class of 1954, and in particular for organizing and hosting the class’ spectacular reunions. He was particularly proud of receiving the college’s Dartmouth Alumni Award in 1986. In 1987, Dartmouth College once again recognized his value and service to the college by hiring him as Director of the Dartmouth College Parents’ Fund and he and Sandy happily moved to Hanover, N.H. He retired from Dartmouth College in 2000 and they retired to Boothbay Harbor, which he often described lovingly as a “rural fishing village.”

He was a camper and counselor alumnus of Camp Lanakila in Fairlee, Vt., and served as a Trustee on the board of The Aloha Foundation. He served as an Overseer of the Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College.

In retirement he continued his lifelong love of trains by becoming an Amtrak Ambassador, riding the Downeaster between Portland, Maine and Boston, Mass., assisting travelers and sharing information about the train and the charms of its destinations.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years; his daughter, Laura Langdon Gillespie of Etna, N.H.; his son, John Lodge Gillespie, Jr. and his wife, Anne Sarah Rubin of Bethesda, Md.; niece, Jennifer Clarice Barnes of Chicago, Ill.; three grandsons, Ethan Barnes Demarest, Jack Hamill Gillespie, and Lucas Nathaniel Gillespie. He was predeceased by his sister, Nancy (Gillespie) Goodhue.

Condolences may be expressed to John’s family in an online guestbook at Simmons, Harrington and Hall, www.hallfuneralhomes.com/boothbay.html. No funeral services are planned, but a memorial service will take place this summer in Hanover, N.H.

Memorial contributions may be made to Dartmouth College Class of 1954, or to The Aloha Foundation, 2968 Lake Morey Road, Fairlee, VT 05045.