Raymond Leon Kilgore, 80, died Monday, July 7, 2008, in Corpus Christi. He was born July 21, 1927, in Depew, Okla., to Leo and Rachael (Price) Kilgore. He moved to Edna and played high school football for the Edna "Cowboys" when their team won the Texas Regional Football Championship in 1944. Before graduating in 1945, he had earned his pilot's license. He attended Oklahoma University. A veteran of World War II, he served in the Navy as a gunner on both an aircraft carrier and a destroyer in the South Pacific. A resident of Corpus Christi since the mid 1950s, he loved the water. Often at the helm of a sailboat or fishing boat, he was a charter member of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club. In the 1970s he helmed boats with crews that held the Texas State Sailing Title. After a long career in the oil business, he retired as Director of International Sales for Baker Oil Tools. He invented and patented a piece of oilfield equipment, and then went on to own and operate a Check Rite franchise in Corpus Christi for the past 20 years. He was an active member of the Episcopalian Church. He was a Mason and member of The Jesters Club, and a member of the Al Amin Shrine.
Leon is survived by his wife, Patti (Coward) Kilgore; son, Michael Lee Kilgore (Vanessa) of Seabeck, Wash.; daughter, Dana Kilgore of Austin; brother, Gail Kilgore (Mary) of Galveston; brother, Wendell Kilgore and wife Betty of Yukon, Okla.; sister, Kay Lynn (Kilgore) Johnson (Bob) of Houston; four grandchildren, Spencer Dreiling, Paloma Tamminga, Michael Tamminga and Leilani Kilgore; one great-grandchild, Mason Dreiling; numerous nieces and nephews and a large extended family, Billye Jean Buckley of Austin; four step-children along with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Corpus Christi.
Honorary pallbearers included Lee and Lloyd Cook, Norman Ransleben, and Malcolm Birdsong.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church or to Shriners Hospitals for Children Galveston, Attn: Administration, 815 Market St., Galveston, TX 77550.
Sawyer-George Funeral Home