LA GRANDE -- Former Weston resident Virgil Lee "Killer" Killgore, 75, died from complications of kidney failure on Aug. 13, 2009, at Evergreen Vista Rehabilitation Center.
A gathering and potluck meal will be 5 p.m. Friday at 410 North Railroad St., in Weston. Those attending are asked to bring pictures and stories of Mr. Kilgore to share. Family and friends may call 541-566-2435 for information. Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Kilgore was born April 20, 1934, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Jesse and Monnie Lancaster Killgore. Following graduation from Weston High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served on several ships in the Pacific during the Korean War and earned several medals and citations. While on board the USS Talladega as a motor mechanics mate petty officer second class, he transferred to serve as a Navy corpsman and served in missions with a Naval Warfare unit and missions with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Following his military service, he returned to Weston and attended Oregon Institute of Technology for electrical engineering. He worked as an electrician in local areas. In 1969, he married Rosella Fern Doering of Maupin Ore., in Reno, Nev.
He later opened an unnamed business of working on the local community's faulty electrical items and cars. He became a significant businessman in the Weston area. He enjoyed helping others and didn't charge much if at all for repairs.
Mr. Killgore retired 10 years ago to pursue his other passion, fishing. He enjoyed music and was an accomplished piano player, earning the nickname "Killer" for his style of playing, comparable to that of Jerry Lee Lewis. He wrote several songs including "The Blue Mountain Waltz" which he played at local harvest parties, events and bars. He was proud of his military service and his southern heritage.
Mr. Killgore is survived by two sons, Michael Killgore of La Grande and Eric Killgore of North Hollywood, Calif.; three grandchildren, Joshlynn, Shelby and Brandon; and a great grandson, Shaiden. He was preceded in death by his wife; and a brother, Jerry.