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Willis Gillespie, widow of jazz icon

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Lorraine Willis Gillespie, widow of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, died Saturday.

She was 84 and lived in Englewood, where the couple had moved in 1965.

Dizzy Gillespie, a trumpeter who helped create the bebop and Afro-Cuban schools of jazz in the 1940s, died in 1993.

The couple met in 1937 when Gillespie was playing with the Teddy Hill Orchestra in Washington, and they married three years later in Boston, Marion "Boo" Frazier told The Record of Bergen County.

Frazier, a cousin of Dizzy's, said Mrs. Gillespie managed her husband's business and personal affairs. "Dizzy loved her and trusted her," Frazier told the newspaper. "She was good for him mentally and physically and spiritually as well. She made sure that he went the right road and not the wrong road."

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