Mary K. Kilgore

19 enero , 193024 septiembre , 2022
 Obituario de Mary K. Kilgore
Mary Kathryn Kilgore has passed at the age of 92. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harty Kilgore in 2007. Up to mid July of 2022, she lived independently in the home that they built in 1984. However, in mid July she received a serious head injury after falling in the parking lot of the shopping center at the intersection of West Paces Ferry Road and Northside Parkway. Following a week in the hospital, she returned home and finally agreed to accept the presence of caregivers. Mary K was exceptionally tough. Since the passing of Harty Kilgore in 2007, she has survived a number of medical issues: accidentally running over herself with her car, breaking her leg; having both shoulders rebuilt due to arthritis; having a heart attack; breaking her arm falling in that same parking lot where she had the recent accident, and delaying medical treatment for over a week in a stubborn refusal to inconvenience her family; being diagnosed with breast cancer in the Spring of 2021; and of course the second fall in the parking lot. Then, in August, she, a neighbor, and several of her caregivers came down with Covid, from which she recovered without hospitalization or medications. She grew up in rural Montgomery County, Texas, surrounded by a large extended family, as her ancestors had settled that area in the early 19th century. Her paternal grandfather was not only a prolific builder, but before the dirt road to Houston had bridges over streams and the San Jacinto River, he made regular trips to Houston with wagons drawn by teams of oxen to obtain the goods with which he stocked his general store. Her parents were the salt of the earth and raised their 4 children to be independent and resourceful. One of her brothers flew reconnaissance in a P-38 over Japanese positions in the South Pacific during WWII. Her mother was an absolutely incredible cook, made her own clothes, and maintained a large vegetable garden. Both of her parents were exceedingly kind. Her father built a small sawmill on his 100 acre tract, cut his own timber, and reduced it to yellow pine lumber and oak flooring for their community. Everything they put their hands to was impeccably executed. When Mary K, their youngest, told her parents that she wanted to continue her education at the college level, her parents supported her education at Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, Texas where she studied to be a medical laboratory technician. Upon graduation, she was employed at JD Hospital in Houston, Texas. Subsequently, she obtained employment with Dr. Hartman Kilgore in Houston, to run the lab in his medical practice. There she met his son, Harty Kilgore. They were married in 1952. They had 2 children: Gary Hartman Kilgore; and Cynthia Ellen Kilgore; as well as 2 grandchildren: Samuel Hartman Kilgore; and Jacob Hartman Kilgore; and a recently born great granddaughter, Aspen Joyce Kilgore. Harty Kilgore was a real estate developer, primarily developing apartment communities. In the late 1950’s an associate suggested that he consider building in Atlanta, Georgia. Soon, he was so active in Atlanta, that he decided to move his family there. In the summer of 1960, the family temporarily rented a home on Knollwood Drive, then a home on Rockingham. Harty bought the last lot on Knollwood Drive and built the family home where they lived until both kids were in college. Every Thursday while her kids were in school, Mary K volunteered at the Baby Clinic operated by Central Presbyterian Church, serving as their lab technician. In 1972, seeing clouds on the economic horizon, Harty decided to sell his real estate development business, General Apartment Company. Unfortunately, he retained a few under performing apartment projects, and it wasn’t long before the bank called the loans on those properties. Harty and Mary K lost almost everything, including their home. However, the bank was not interested in one income producing property that would prove to be a salvation. Harty and a former employee, Jim West, had built a mini warehouse in Norcross, one of the earliest in Metro Atlanta. The mini warehouse was no beauty, but it was successful. The real estate business in Atlanta remained overbuilt and challenging for a few more years. Houston, on the other hand, was not suffering from over-building, so Harty and Mary K picked up and moved back to Houston, bought an old apartment project on McCue, across from the Galleria in Houston, and converted it to condominiums. Then they bought a dilapidated farm on the Brazos River, west of Houston, from Dr. Hamm, and restored it. The farm on the Brazos was their primary residence for several years, but they really loved Atlanta, so they bought an old Chatham house that backed up to Chastain Park, and frequently returned to Atlanta for business and socializing. In 1984, they built their current residence. All the while, the mini warehouse business was becoming more interesting. They would build up a portfolio of self storage properties, then sell the portfolio when it looked like a recession might be imminent. Over the years, they built and sold 3 portfolios of properties before Harty succumbed to Parkinson’s Disease. They traveled extensively, and loved entertaining. They were gracious and generous with family, friends, and those in need. Mary K aged gracefully and, in fact, the photo accompanying this obituary was shot within the last decade, when she was in her eighties. She was almost always cheerful, and could see humor in even the most dire moments. Even while bedridden and in severe pain, she would joke with her caregivers. When Mary K returned home from the trauma unit at Grady, after her accident in July, she was no longer physically capable of independent living. Audrey Cox, who had assisted her for a short period in the past, has been a Godsend. Her friends: Rose Slocumb; Patricia Terrell; and Deanna Sawers are caregivers as well, and she scheduled them so that Mary K had continuous care. Not only that, Audrey is an exceptional cook. If your family has a need for caregivers, the family highly recommends Audrey and her friends. They are all capable, reliable, and caring individuals. The family would also like to thank Stacy Shekerow, Mary K’s physical therapist, who hooked them up with Hospice Atlanta, which has provided medical services, advice, and a multitude of auxiliary services over Mary K’s final months. When Harty passed away in 2007, Mary K had his casket brought to their home for the visitation, and the family will be doing the same for her. Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from 6pm to 9pm the night of Thursday, September 29 at the Kilgore home. Funeral services will be conducted at 2pm Friday on September 30 at H.M. Patterson Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Road, Sandy Springs, GA. 30328. Burial to follow at Arlington Memorial Park.

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