Elmer "Gene" Kilgore '54 May 18, 2022 1:25 PM updated: May 18, 2022 3:36 PM
Elmer Eugene Kilgore
December 30, 1932 – April 19, 2022
Elmer Eugene "Gene" Kilgore, a longtime resident of Austin, passed away in Lubbock, Texas at the age of 89 on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. He is survived by his children Clay, Brian, Leslie and Susan and grandchildren Juliette, Alexander, Zachary and Jason. Gene was preceded in death by his wife Sally and shared the last years of his life with his loving companion Janet Tornelli.
Gene was born in Luling, Texas where he spent his youth. He was active in local high school sports and helped his father manage their extensive garden and small collection of livestock. Gene met his future wife, Sally Nichols, in kindergarten. While in college, he spent summers working in the oilfields that surrounded the town.
Gene enrolled in Texas A&M University in 1950 with several of his high school friends. At that time, enrolling in Texas A&M involved packing up a car with their belongings and a drive to College Station where they simply signed up for classes and a room in a dorm. Gene was the first in his family to attend college and recalled his time at Texas A&M fondly. He attended many events and functions in College Station throughout his life. Gene was a proud Aggie ’54 and very proud member of the Corps of Cadets.
After graduation he served with the Air Force in Europe as a civil engineer, earning the rank of lieutenant. During his time in the Air Force, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and North Africa. Returning from Europe, Gene started his long career with Alcoa Aluminum. Away from work, Gene was eager to explore the great outdoors and led the family on driving vacations through the southwestern states, often to visit family in Texas. Gene was an accomplished mountaineer, and encouraged a love of the outdoors in his children.
After retiring from Alcoa, Sally and Gene moved back to Austin where they lived for many years. Gene continued working for several local businesses, sharing his management skills and work ethic. While in Austin, Gene enjoyed attending many Aggie events and reconnecting with his broad network of friends and classmates. Gene was known to have sampled the fare at the Luling City Market, Kreuz Market and Louie Mueller BBQ over the years and enjoyed sharing this unique bit of Texas culture with family and friends.
He was a loving husband and father, and thoroughly enjoyed being “GrandPa Gene”. He will be dearly missed.