Leslie Kilgore

Hamilton County

Leslie Idean Spence Kilgore expired on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at a local hospital.She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Maggie Spence; husband, Royce J. Kilgore Sr.; daughter, Cheryl Kilgore Baker; son, Royce J. Kilgore Jr.; and son-in-law, Melvin Baker. Though the losses of those she loved caused her great anguish, she endured and kept the family together.She leaves to treasure her memory; devoted daughters, Joyce Kilgore (Irvin) Overton, Linda Kilgore (Warren) Logan, Carol Kilgore (Ronald) ONeal; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, all of Chattanooga; sister, Gladys Spence Hines, Detroit, Mich.; sisters-in-law, Louise Kilgore Jones, Edith Kilgore, both of Chattanooga and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friendsLeslie lived a good, long life. She was surrounded by the love of family and friends, but her great yearning was to rejoin Royce, her husband of over sixty-six years. She is greatly missed by those who loved her, but her legacy of strength and love will be a memory to cherish.Leslie Idean Spence was born on Dec. 31, 1924 in Buffalo, Ala. She was the tenth of eleven children born to John and Maggie Spence. She was educated in the public schools of Chattanooga. Leslie met Royce Kilgore while walking home from school one day but the true love affair began in Lincoln Park. They married after a six-months courtship and their union produced five children who became the center of their lives.As a lifelong member of Wiley United Methodist Church, now Bethlehem-Wiley, she belonged to Church Women United, United Methodist Women, the usher board and the Merriner-Greene Womens Sunday School class. Leslie threw herself into the lives of her children. She was the quintessential housewife. She worked tirelessly with the PTA at her children's schools as well as with the PTA Council, statewide. She won many awards and accolades for her service and perseverance. She was homeroom mother, for each of her five children. She baked cakes for school carnivals, cookies for homeroom parties, helped pass out presents for school Christmas festivities, and so much more. She was dependable, and teachers and principals appreciated her willingness to do what was needed to help.She was unsurpassed as a wife and mother. She didn't go to a job each day, but five children (who were stair steps in age) and a husband was plenty work! After volunteering at her children's schools, she never failed to have aromas of roast beef and macaroni and cheese waiting to greet you as you walked through the door at home. She was a master seamstress. She could make anything from a green mohair suit for a university queen coronation, to a simple vest to play Gretel in the May Day celebration at Calvin Donaldson. She made dresses and skirts for Easter, Christmas, first day of school, school productions, and others.She also made prom / pageant dresses, traditional blue dusters for Easter and expanded her skills to include macram and crafting. Leslie and Royce saw to it that each child went to college and had every opportunity they could give them. They both were greatly honored and revered by the children who received a disciplined and happy upbringing. Her life was not a humdrum, ordinary one. She wrapped herself in her family and gave them her greatest gifts herself, her time and her love. Her life ended in much the same way surrounded by all of her family three in person and three others in spirit.This is not "Goodbye," but "Until we meet again."Graveside services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, at Chattanooga National Cemetery with Rev. McKlain officiating.The body will lie in state after noon Sunday and the family will receive friends from 56 p.m. at John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Avenue, 622-9995.

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