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Westminster Mayor Elden F. Gillespie Dies

February 07, 1988|RICHARD BEENE | Times Staff Writer

Westminster Mayor Elden F. Gillespie, who served the city in various capacities for 23 years, died of a heart attack Saturday, authorities said. He was 71.

Gillespie, who had been undergoing treatment for cancer since October, was taken from his home to Fountain Valley Hospital where he died at 12:41 p.m. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, and a daughter, Lynn.

The family said funeral arrangements were not yet complete.

Gillespie became Westminster's first elected mayor in November, 1986. His term was to expire this November. City officials said it had not been decided how or when to fill the position.

Fixture in City Politics

Gillespie, a chemical processing consultant who retired from Atlantic Richfield Co. in 1976 after 40 years of service, had been a fixture in Westminster politics since the 1960s. He served more than 12 years on the City Council and two terms as appointed mayor.

Gillespie began his long career in public service in July, 1965, when he became a member of the Westminster Parks and Recreation Commission, a post he held until June, 1973, when he was appointed to the council to replace Derek McWhinney after McWhinney's conviction on bribery charges.

Served on Council

He held that post until 1975, ran for council and was defeated the following year but was elected to the council in 1977. He continued serving on the council until he was elected mayor.

Six of his eight years on the Parks and Recreation Commission were spent as chairman of that body. He was also a member of a number of civic and homeowner groups.

Gillespie also served on the California State Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency, the Garden Grove Unified School District Personnel Committee and the Joint Powers Public Cable Television Authority.

He was past president of Westminster Boys and Girls Club, 1978 Citizen of the Year in Westminster and honorary life member of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce.

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