Executive Banking Secretary and gregarious hostess who loved all things Chihuahua

NORTH READING – Carole Ann (Gillespie) Lander, 87, of North Reading, formerly of Stoneham, died surrounded by family and loved ones on May 31, 2022 at Winchester Hospital. She was the beloved wife of Harold C. Lander for 66 years.

Carole was born May 16, 1935 in Melrose. She was the daughter of the late Elliot and Mabel Gillespie, and step-daughter to the late Lois Gillespie.

Carole was the Executive Banking Secretary and Assistant to the late James R. White for most of her career. After Carole started her career as a secretary at Shawmut Bank, Mr. White recognized her skills and many talents and promoted her to be his assistant. She loved all aspects of her job. Many colleagues became some of her closest friends and remained so for many years.

She was an avid cook and baker, sometimes known as the “Cookie Lady” – her recipe for hermits was legendary. Entertaining was one of her passions and she was a wonderful and gregarious hostess. She always made sure food, laughter, and love were always in abundance at her gatherings. She valued friendships, and, if she couldn’t see you in person, she never missed the chance to send a greeting card to catch up. She had an eye for picking out the perfect card for all occasions.

Carole loved all things Chihuahua, from her very first fur baby, Chickie, to her youngest pup, Walter. Throughout the years she had many puppies, each and every one so special to her. She cared for them and loved them – they were part of her family. She was an animal lover in general, always opening her heart to any animal in need.

Carole is survived by her husband, Harold C. Lander, and her fur babies Lucky and Walter. She was the sister-in-law to the late Harvey Lander and his wife Mary of Billerica, and the late Gordon Lander and his wife Irene of Billerica. She was a beloved Auntie to Gordon Lander Jr. and his wife Pat of Billerica; the late Linda Lander-Fraize; Catherine Barbas and her husband Steve of Billerica; Christine Lander-Souza of Lowell; Nancy Cormier and her husband Paul of Townsend; Patricia Vivilecchia and her husband Demian of Somers, Conn.; Caitlin Barbas of Bloomington, Ind.; and Nicholas Barbas of Billerica. She also has many great- and great-great nieces and nephews and many very dear friends.

A visitation for family and friends was held at the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow Street, North Reading, on Tuesday, June 7, from 10 a.m. – noon. Graveside services and interment immediately followed at Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.

Those wishing to make memorial donations in lieu of flowers, please donate to the Animal Welfare Society of your choice in honor of Carole’s love of animals.