Aggies cope with death of Corps leader

January 11, 2011 4:52:47 PM PST
It's one of the most elite groups in the country, filled with honor and tradition. Now they're missing one of their own. A Ross Volunteer in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets was killed Sunday in a tragic crash on icy roads in north Texas. And news of the loss is spreading quickly among Aggie alumni.

A routine practice was made more difficult by the absence of one of their own. Taylor Gillespie, 21, died Sunday about 50 miles northeast of Dallas in Collin County. He was being driven by his father back to College Station when Department of Public Safety investigators say the elder Gillespie lost control on a slick patch of road and crossed into oncoming traffic.

"Taylor was a very funny guy," said Sam Cox, who served with him in the Aggie Corps of Cadets.

Cox wears a yellow and white braid denoting membership in the elite handpicked RV Corps. The Ross Volunteers serve a personal honor guard for the state governor. Gillespie was a member and outfit commander.

The dress whites of the RV are seen on special occasions like a Christmas parade last year. In a group known for its uniformity, Gillespie stood out.

"He was a very positive thinker and had a great outlook on life. He was a guy you loved to be around because he loved to smile and make you laugh," said Cox.

The Ross Volunteers are on campus this week before school starts for practice. Gillespie's outfit is without their commander, yet the drive to continue will not fade. His comrades are finding inspiration in Gillespie's life.

"He poured out his heart and his life to those 40 to 50 people below him, serving them, and to me more than anything that's an inspiration," said Luke Lunsford, Texas A&M cadet colonel.

For those interested, monetary donations can be sent to:

Taylor Gillespie Memorial Fund
C/o First National Bank of Trenton
P.O. Box 325
Melissa, Texas 75454

Or for more information, you can contact: