Gene Kilgore, age 90, of rural Wayside, Kansas died at his home on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. He was surrounded by his loving family at the time of his death. Gene was preceded in death by his parents and ten siblings.
Gene was born in Caney, Kansas on May 11, 1932 to David and Alice Kilgore. He grew up around Wayside and some years later in Ellinwood, Kansas. He returned to Wayside, graduating in 1951 from Wayside High School.
He was married to ReVae Brownlee for 22 years and they had three children. On July 20, 1974 he married Harriett White of Clay Center, Kansas. For the next 48 years of marriage, he and Harriett lived together on their ranch raising registered Santa Gertrudis cattle.
He had many jobs in his lifetime. He was a lineman for Milwaukee Railroad in Montana, he drove a truck for Union Gas and managed Famous Brands Liquor Distributors in Independence, KS. He coached a Little League baseball perfect season and championship team in Independence. Later, when he was attending Pittsburg State Teacher’s College, he worked at Pittsburg Pottery and the Townsman Hotel in Pittsburg.
In 1967 Gene received his teaching certification in Business Administration. He then taught various business classes and coached at Cherryvale High School for two years, and another 24 years teaching and coaching football, basketball, and track at Neodesha High School from where he retired. Players often mentioned that no matter what, coach Kilgore demanded good sportsmanship and that he always had a positive comment for their performance. Both students and athletes loved Mr. Kilgore very much. Many students commented how much fun it was typing to music in his typing classes.
Gene loved being outdoors. He raised and raced horses for several years but was most proud of their outstanding herd of Santa Gertrudis cattle that was built over a 50 year period. He loved children and supported many youth throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri with show cattle. His knack for telling stories and jokes, singing, and reciting humorous limericks from memory, are family and friend favorites.
Gene was deeply loved by his wife, Harriett Kilgore, who resides on their ranch near Wayside, KS ranch and his sons, Lynn (Terry) Kilgore of Independence, KS; Tom (Marilyn) Kilgore of Manhattan, KS; and his daughter, Lisa (John) Newland of Neodesha, KS. His legacy lives on through his eight grandchildren: Jesse Newland, Ashley Newland, Jennifer Kilgore, Brandy (Nathan) Alt, Matthew (Jennifer) Kilgore, Richard (Traycee) Haemmerle, Cynthia Kilgore, Nellie Kilgore, and 22 great-grandchildren.
The family will greet friends at Potts Chapel in Independence, Kansas on Friday, August 26th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. A Celebration of Gene’s Life will take place on Saturday, August 27th at 10:30 AM at Potts Chapel with interment immediately following at Harrisonville Cemetery. Memorials for “Friends of the Kiddie Park” in Bartlesville, OK, or “Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice” may be sent to Potts Chapel, 122 S. Penn Ave, Independence, KS. 67301.