TRIBUTE TO MY DAD (Revised)
- Daddy loved his family. His love for mother was not what you would call demonstrate in our eyes, but it was shown in the old fashion way. And that was by providing a home, security, and commitment. Daddy was always there for our mother. They were married for 70 years which speaks for itself in this day and time. He displayed his love for his children by demanding respect and obedience. He did not spare the rod, nor spoiled the child. He was a consistent rock in our lives. He saw that his family went to church and grew up in church. All his children are personal followers of Jesus Christ and serve in churches.
- He loved music. When we get together at Christmas one of the fond memories is Daddy singing “O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” a cappella. I can recall as a child seeing Dad play his guitar as he and mother sang a duet. We were a musical family, singing in churches, playing instruments, playing in school bands and serving churches on staff in the area of music. Dad encouraged studying and being involved in music.
- Dad loved the idea of going to school and getting that degree. He saw that all this children attended college. He valued schooling and what it could do for you. Therefore, the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Jacksonville State University, Samford university, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Auburn University, Montgomery, University of Montevalo, Middle Tennessee State University, Snead College, Beville State, Walker College, and the University of California are schools that his children and or his grandchildren have degrees from. From Bachelor degrees, Masters degrees, and one Ph D, Dad receives the credit for instilling in us the value of a college education.
- Daddy loved the land. He lived and owned the land of his Father. He left his children the legacy of the land. He always said it was important because they are not making any more of it. He cared and farmed the land on the side as he worked for the Alabama Forestry Commission. There would be a big garden, a pea patch, a cornfield, or a watermelon patch. Daddy has left us the land and he always emphasized the importance of it staying in the family.
- He loved work. Daddy would create work. He was never idle. We knew he was sick if he was just sitting there. He instilled a strong work ethnic in his children. He was determined, task oriented. He didn’t have a lot of patience with people who were lazy. But he would do things he would not let his children do - like climbing the tin roof of Granny Kilgore’s old house at age 88. He was a man of work always finding something to do.
- Dad loved caps. He has over 30 something caps in his bedroom. Many of the caps were given to him from his nephew, Jimmy Kilgore of Kilgore Hardware and from my brother, Mike. Dad was always sharing his caps and I have quite a few he has given me. The last time I saw him is asked, “Do you need a cap?” Daddy had already given me quite a few caps.
- Daddy loved the Lord. He was saved at a young age in a cornfield. His salvation experience was very real and vivid. He told us on more than one occasion that he was ready to die because he was going to go to a better place. His church membership was at New Oak Grove Freewill Baptist Church in Nauvoo, Alabama. Daddy would sit in his lounge chair next to a table and lamp reading his Bible in his private devotion. He left us with a Christian legacy. We each have a strong faith. The Lord has been good to the Kilgore family. Dad trained us up in the Lord and as we have grown older we have not departed from that teaching.
- * He loved this country. Daddy served in the Army of the United States during Worship War II. He was honorable discharged in October, 1945. He was called up that last year of the war. His training was in Camp McCoy in Wisconsin. He never did have to go over seas because the war was over in August, 1945. Daddy was always concerned about the direction the country was going. He never frowned on the amount of taxes he had to pay because he said our country needed the money in order to function. He was always up on who was running for office in the local, state, and national elections and always went to the polls to vote for who he considered the best man for the position.
- * Daddy loved the Masons. He became a Master Mason in 1947 and served for over 65 years in the Double Springs, Lamon Chapel, and Black Creek Masonic Lodges.
*The last day I saw him alive was Tuesday prior to his death on Thursday, April 12. During the Tuesday visit, I showed Daddy my new plaid shirt jacket I had purchased from Walmart for $3.00. He said, "You got that for $3?" Mother was going to Jasper for a doctor's appointment. He could not get the $3 jacket off his mind. He asked Mother to go by Walmart to buy him a shirt like mine. I told him he could have mine. He said, "Oh, no, I don't want to take yours." I told him that I purchased two jackets and that he could have this one because I didn't need two. That satisfied him. At the end of my visit, I mentioned that I was leaving him the plaid shirt jacket because I don't need it. He was pleased. But personally, I don't know if Daddy like the shirt jacket or if he liked the idea it only cost $3. It was quite a bargain. Daddy never got to wear the shirt before he died.
* He didn't like litter on the roadways. He would walk a mile on both sides of Winston County Road 21 in front of the old home place, picking up trash that people discarded. He would easily get two bags full of trash from that road side. His back problems did not deter him, even at age 90 from picking up the trash. He had a special tool he used to assist him, but he still had to bend over low to the ground. Picking up the trash was very important to him and one the activities he made sure was done. It was something we did together in his last year of his life for which I will always remember.
I sign off now. The oldest son, Johnny Kilgore