Alexander John Gilleskie, 74, died Thursday, January 27, 2011 in Durham NC. Alex was born in Heidelberg, PA on May 24, 1936, to Stella and Alexander Gilleskie. Lured to North Carolina on an NC State University football scholarship, little did he know that he would establish roots in Durham that would shape his life and the lives of many others for the next 50 years. Mary Ann, his bride from the neighboring town of Bridgeville, PA, joined him in North Carolina in 1960. After graduating from NC State University and playing professional football until a knee injury sidelined him, he joined the City of Durham Parks & Recreation Department, and later became director until his retirement in 1995.
In the mid-1970s, he received a Master’s degree from UNC and served as a lecturer there for several years. After retiring from the Parks & Recreation Department, he continued to touch the lives of others through his part-time work at the State’s Division of Emergency Management, Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, his activities with the Knights of Columbus, and his service at St. Matthew Catholic Church.
Alex and Mary Ann celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August, 2010. Alex was very proud of his four children and the families they have established. Mark Gilleskie and his wife Margaret live in Blowing Rock, NC with their two children, Molly and Maggie. Gary Gilleskie and his wife Donna live in Chapel Hill, NC with their two children, Matt and Drew. Mary Lynne Hunt and her husband Ronnie live in Wilmington, NC with their three children, Xander, Smith, and Anna Michael. His youngest daughter, Alicia Gilleskie, lives in Raleigh, NC. The oldest of three children himself, Alex maintained a close relationship with his sister, Jeannie McCracken in Heidelberg, PA and his brother, Bob Gilleskie in San Diego, CA.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10:00 AM Monday, January 31, 2011 from St. Matthew Catholic Church 1001 Mason Road, Durham, NC 27712 with Father Tom Tully presiding. Burial will follow in St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery.
Friends may visit Sunday afternoon, January 30, 2011 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, 1113 W. Main Street, Durham.
In lieu of flowers, Alex and the family would be grateful for donations to the church family that has supported them for many years at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 1001 Mason Road, Durham, NC 27712.