In Loving Memory of
Nadine Meridy Gillespie
November 25, 1919 – January 6, 2022
Nadine Meridy (Simons) Gillespie, long-time Alaskan and wife of InterAct Ministries founder Johnny Gillespie went to be with her Savior and Lord on January 6, 2022. She was 102 years old. Nadine was born in Chico, California, on November 25, 1919, to Earl and LaMona Simons. At the age of seven, Nadine put her trust in Jesus Christ as her Savior and, in later years, would refer to it as the most important decision of her life.
Growing up, many missionaries would visit the Simons home, which profoundly influenced her life. While attending college at Biola University, she met her future husband, Johnny. Together they entered a youth discipleship program under Dawson Trotman, the founder of The Navigators and were among the first people trained by the ministry to disciple youth. Following their graduation in 1941 and six weeks after their wedding, the Gillespies boarded a ship for the Alaskan frontier.
In 1945, several Anchorage churches asked if John and Nadine would begin a Youth for Christ program for that area, creating many ministry opportunities. Six months later, Johnny was asked to pastor the Church of the Open Door, a fellowship that also had a far-reaching radio ministry, work among young people and service members.
In 1951, John was appointed general director of the newly formed Arctic Missions, a missionary organization to help individual missionaries unify their efforts in bush Alaska. While Johnny directed the mission, Nadine helped with correspondence, designed publications, cared for receipting of donations, and offered hospitality to traveling missionaries. Today Arctic Missions is called InterAct Ministries, and the agency continues its work in Alaska, Canada and Russia.
Nadine never lost an opportunity to challenge others in their life’s purpose. She was known as a prayer warrior, an encourager, and a counselor to her final days. Above all, she was committed and consistent in her love for the Lord. She practiced the scripture; “For me living means opportunities for Christ, and dying, well that’s better yet!” Philippians 1:21 LB
Nadine is survived by her sister, Betty Landberg, and her children: Stan (wife Ginny), Dave (wife Trish, deceased), Tim (wife Sue), and Marilyn (Gillespie) Franke (husband Ted), nine grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.
Her family requests that instead of flowers, gifts may be made to InterAct Ministries memorial fund or Victory Ministries of Alaska in Nadine Gillespie’s honor.