Calvin Henry Gillespie passed away on Nov. 30, 2020, at the age of 82, after a brave battle with lung cancer.
He was born in Medford, Oregon, to Dick and Bernice Gillespie, the oldest of three siblings of whom he was the last surviving.
Calvin graduated from Crater High School in Central Point, Oregon, served eight years in the Army and Army Reserves, earned an AAS degree in mechanical technology from the Oregon Institute of Technology (OTI), and moved to Livermore in January 1959 to join the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (now LLNL). While at OTI, Calvin met his future wife, Lidwina Gapp. They were married in 1962 and have lived in Livermore ever since, also as active members of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Calvin is survived by his wife, Lidwina; sons, Brent of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Walter, of San Diego, California; and by his grandchildren, Booker, Lincoln, Kyle, Joshua and Rachel.
Cal’s 42-year career at LLNL was filled with creation, innovation, and achievements. Starting initially as a machinist, Cal was drawn to the design and fabrication of optical instruments, which led him to numerous inventions, technical papers, and a drive for continuing education that earned him advancement to a full Engineer position. His interest in optics continued after his 42-year career at LLNL with his retirement hobby of gem faceting, where he created unique designs from various gems and crystals.
He was a man of many hobbies, able to express his infective gusto for life through the accordion, through woodworking, and his gem faceting machine at ever increasing levels of skill. His quiet manner and innate modesty made him a truly inspiring character, for his sons especially, but also for his nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. Likewise, his deep and loving commitment to all of his relationships but especially his wife remains a model for all of us. He was loved deeply and will be sorely missed.
A small committal service and burial will take place at 2 p.m., on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at St. Michael’s Cemetery, in Livermore. A memorial Mass will be held at a future date when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.