Joseph ‘Joe’ Gillespie

FERRYVILLE, Wis. – Joseph C. “Joe” Gillespie, 63, of Ferryville passed away at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. He was born January 11, 1959, in La  Crosse, the son of Patrick and Shirley (Arneson) Gillespie.

Joe GillespieAfter graduating from De Soto High School, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Sandy Bolstad, on June 16, 1979. They shared over 42 years together raising their family and dedicating their summers to playing ball at Cottonwood Park. Joe’s lifelong passion was coaching baseball and softball. He served the DeSoto Little League for over 22 years, coaching hundreds of kids (including each of his own) how to play the game, win the game or lose with their heads held high. Joe was a career logger and truck driver, most recently employed by Rugged Rock in Porter, MN. He loved sharing stories of his over-the-road adventures and especially enjoyed the trips he was able to make with family and friends. The most important thing in Joe’s life above all else was his family and dear friends. He was extremely proud of each of his five kids, and his three grandkids were the light of his life.

Joe is survived by his wife, Sandy; five children, Peter (Erin Coughlin) Gillespie, Holly (Ryan) Nickelatti, Sara Gillespie, Hannah (Axel Schmidt) Gillespie and Patrick Gillespie; three grandchildren, Macie, Ava and Ray; his siblings, Mike (Laurie), John (Lori), Jayne, and Tim (Marj), and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his brother, Dan, and his parents-in-law, George and Opal Bolstad.

Funeral services will be at noon Saturday, May 21, at Thorson-Popp Funeral and Cremation Services in Viroqua, followed by a celebration of Joe’s life after 2 p.m. in Cottonwood Park, De Soto. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.

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