Sunday’s Obituary: Maiden Aunts and Bachelor Uncles — Eva Dold Gillespie

We called her Aunt Bebe.  My cousin tells me that someone from our parents generation could not pronounce Eva and it came  out as “bebe” and that’s how we knew her.

Eva Gillespie (1901 – 1992)

When my parents divorced she spent time with my Dad, sister and me making sure someone was there to take care of us.  She sewed clothes for us and our baby dolls.  And she taught in public schools for all her life.

She was born at the turn of the century on July 15, 1901, the third child of Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald.  She never married and stayed at home taking care of her parents and older sister Minnie who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.

Her parents bought their house on 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia in 1907 when she was six and she lived there for the rest of her life.  Her brothers and sisters gave her the house in 1964 when her mother died.

She died on April 13, 1992 and was buried in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery  next to her parents.


10 comments on “Sunday’s Obituary: Maiden Aunts and Bachelor Uncles — Eva Dold Gillespie”
  1. Christine says:

    You have to wonder how strongly the first WW impacted young women of marrying age, leaving them spinsters because so many young men never made it home. How nice that your Aunt Bebe was able to enjoy a family life through you and your sister.

  2. Jana Last says:

    It sounds like she was a very kind and loving woman, always taking care of other people.

  3. Sheryl says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your aunt. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

  4. Susan D. says:

    To let you know that I am pleased to nominate you for an Illuminating Blogger Award – see my posting at

    Further info on the award at

  5. Susan D. says:

    Thank you for sharing your moving tribute to your aunt. It brought back memories of my own aunt (1907-1995) whose life was devoted to looking after my grandfather, her time as a teacher in a poor part of Lancashire and yet was also an important part of my growing up and also my daughter’s childhood. She is someone we could neve forget and lives on in our memories.

  6. Susan D. says:

    To let you know I have nominated you for an Illuminating Blogger Award – see my post

    More info. on the award at

  7. Dale Douty says:

    The stories I heard as a child was that Minnie and Bebe’s father was hard on prospective marriage suitors, making it difficult for either of them to find a mate. I know from talks I had with Bebe over the years she had at least one serious love interest but she never would divulge any further details.

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