Gillaspie, William


William Augustus Gillaspie, III, known to many as Bill, died on Saturday, December 18, 2021 in Atlanta, GA, after many months with heart and lung problems.

Bill, born in 1945, was the son of Mamie Jo Stutts and Bill Gillaspie and the brother of Nancy Elaine Gillaspie Luxemburger. In addition to his sister and her husband, Jerry, he had three nephews, Peter, Tim, and Hans, their wives, Muriel, Ann, and Lynn; and six grand-nieces and nephews, Holden, Nathan, Camille, Theo, Louise, and Lucas, all of Atlanta.

Bill spent his early years in Thomasville, AL, while his father was stationed in Alaska with the US Coast Guard. When his mother accepted a position as director of Salhaven, a Florida retirement community, Bill moved to Jupiter, FL, where he spent part of his childhood and his teenage years enjoying the natural beauty of the unspoiled south Florida coast, exploring the mangrove swamps, and fishing for snook in his own little boat The Will G.

He graduated from Emory University in 1966, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, with a degree in Sociology. After college, he enrolled in the US Peace Corps and was stationed in the Philippines; he was profoundly influenced by his time teaching English in an island village and liked to tell the story of how he kept a pet monkey during his time there. He also introduced several hives of honey bees in the area in hopes that they would acclimate to fertilize pineapple and other crops.

When he returned from the Philippines, he studied at Tulane University in New Orleans and received a Master's Degree in Social Work.

Bill lived and worked for many years in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was a therapist who counseled families and young people with substance abuse problems. He was a "Yellow Dog" Democrat and followed politics avidly, but he loved to talk with people of all persuasions and views. His favorite pastimes were corresponding with friends on Facebook, cooking classic Southern dishes, and doting on his beloved dog Gabriel. His sister will remember him above all else as a gentle and kind person. His friend Marti Coulter says that the Carol King song, "When you need a friend, call out my name, and I'll be there," captures Bill's kind of friendship. Barbara Blair and Antonio Fuentes were also friends who made a difference in his life.

If you wish to send a donation in his name, the organization Meals on Wheels, 1705 Commerce Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, would please him, or send a remembrance to your own favorite charity.

Sign the guestbook at

View the obituary on