|Birth: ||Oct. 19, 1905|
|Death: ||Jan. 1, 1996|
"Uncle" Johnny led an interesting life. As an infant, he was left on the doorstep of a Mr. Aguilar of Cortez, Colorado, with a note expressing his family could no longer care for him. Mr. Aguilar cared for "Uncle" Johnny, who seemed to put a strain on his relationship with his wife, whereby she abandoned her husband and "Uncle" Johnny. Mr. Aguilar parented "Uncle" Johnny to the best of his ability, and stories were told describing how "Uncle" Johnny, as a young boy, wore Mr. Aguilar's clothes even though their fit had something to be desired. Baggy, rolled up sleeves and pants blanketed the little guy.
"Uncle" Johnny worked at the Red Arrow Mine near Mancos, Colorado from 1934-1936. His wife, "Aunt" Alta, cooked and performed domestic duties for the miners of the Red Arrow mine. He also took part in the 1936 rescue of victims from the Hesperus Mine when a snow avalanche buried much of the mining camp. It was during this time of the Depression years that "Uncle" Johnny used his gold nugget to make ends meet. He would pawn the nugget or use it as collateral for groceries or other necessities, then go back upon payday to reclaim his nugget. It was his "ace in the hole" and helped keep food on the table during lean times.
Then in the early 1940s, he worked for the famous aviatrix, Pancho Barnes, on her Rancho Oro Verde ranch at Muroc, California. He had some colorful stories detailing his interaction with Pancho. Pancho comes from famous Professor Thaddeus Lowe lineage of Civil War fame and namesake of the Mt. Lowe area of Southern California. Regardless of her privilege in life, Pancho's speech was just as colorful as any farmhand she employed and she was known to work side-by-side with her laborers.
After leaving employment at Rancho Oro Verde ranch at Muroc, he went to work for Pacific Coast Borax Company in Boron, California. Shortly thereafter, "Uncle" Johnny enlisted in the Army Air Force to serve his country during World War II. After the war, he returned to work for Pacific Coast Borax Company. He was active in many community services and the Masonic Lodge. After retiring from U. S. Borax & Chemical Corporation, formerly Pacific Coast Borax Company, he relocated to Bishop, California, where he enjoyed the Sierra Mountains and many years of retirement with his wife, "Aunt" Alta.
Alta Leola Porter Gillespie (1919 - 2011)*
West Line Street Cemetery
Created by: cliff Hunt
Record added: Feb 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33835878