Tom Gillispie

24 November 2014
Tom Gillispie
Tom Gillispie

Tom Gillispie died on Saturday, November 22 at the age of 76. Tom worked in custodial services and on the grounds crew for 31 years, from 1969-2000. While working at Laird Stadium, he oversaw the locker room counter, handing out the coveted Carleton “gray T’s” and pulling pranks. Tom would often stop his riding mower to chat with faculty, staff, and students, offering funny and friendly advice. But one learned quickly not to shake hands with him, as Tom’s strength was legendary.

Raised on a dairy farm near Dennison, Tom went into the Army after high school. Tom and his wife Bonnie raised exotic birds on their game farm in Dennison, and welcomed Carleton families to come and see them. In addition to his wife, Tom is survived by 2 children and 4 grandchildren. A more complete obituary can be found at the Bierman Funeral Home website.

Funeral Services will be at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 29th at the Dennison Lutheran Church. Visitation will be from 4-7:00 pm on Friday, November 28th at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield and at the church one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

Please keep all of Tom’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

In sorrow and gratitude,

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  • 2014-11-24 19:01:09
    Tim Vick

    I'm sad to hear of Tom's passing - he was a legend in his time on campus. I always enjoyed talking to him, and more than once I glanced out the window of Mudd to see him giving a long-faced student encouragement or a hug from his perch on the mower. He was a bright spot on campus for me.

  • 2014-11-25 13:05:12
    Susannah Ottaway

    I am very sorry to hear of Tom's death. He was a kind-hearted presence throughout my four years as a student-worker at the Carleton shop office, and I was so grateful for his good humor and warmth then, and when I returned to Carleton to teach. He will be much missed around campus. 

  • 2014-12-12 15:18:15
    Scott Fargo

    I will always remember Tom as the "big" guy handing out the towels who could also bend 1/8th inch thick nails with his bare hands. I was impressed.   

    He was always a friendly sight with a big smile to share.  He was one of the many faces of Carleton, a truly diverse place.