Cover photo for Mary Lou Kilgore's Obituary
1933 Mary 2020

Mary Lou Kilgore

August 14, 1933 — April 6, 2020

As a result of current restrictions on gatherings, we are providing HeartStrings, our online sympathy message where you can upload a photo and write a note or share a memory that will be printed and given to the family. Please click here to send your support.

The Remembrance of Mary Lou (Bradford) Kilgore

On August 14, 1933, George Washington Sr. and Fannie Lou Bradford welcomed their second child, a baby girl, whom they named Mary Lou.  Mary flourished in the Detroit Public School system and graduated from Pershing High School in 1951. She accepted Christ at an early age while attending the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ, where she was baptized and worshiped for many years.

In 1954, she wed Thomas Kilgore Jr., and during this union, they were blessed with two beautiful daughters Sharon and Darlene. Mary provided the best possible etiquette for her daughters.  Mary was a successful accountant at the Chamber of Commerce and Stribling Electric Company, before retiring.

Mary enjoyed shopping with her daughters, dancing, traveling, playing cards and going to the casinos. She was a dedicated grandmother, who loved attending her grandchildren's sporting and talent events. Mary was known for showcasing her powerful bowling skills locally and nationally.  Among her accomplishments, in 1985, she was inducted in the Michigan State USBC (Star of Yesteryear). In addition, Mary was on the winning Motown Records Team in 1971, 72, 77, and 79. She also won the All Event title in 1974. Mary won first place in the Mother & Daughter Tournaments in 1969 (Darlene) and repeated her championship in 1970 (Sharon). She won the Doubles State Tournament with her partner Lavolia Brown, in 1966, the Doubles in the NBA Tournament in 1971, and again won the Doubles State Tournament in 1978. After 23-years, she retired from her bowling career and devoted her time to take care of her youngest daughter, who went home to be with the Lord on February 4, 1983.

Mary’s true love for cooking and baking brought her family together during holidays to enjoy food, fellowship and her signature coconut and pineapple upside down cakes.

Mary moved from her long-term residence in Detroit, MI, to Minnesota in 2015 to be in the care of her daughter and grandchildren. The Lord called Mary home to glory on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Thomas Kilgore Jr., one daughter, Darlene, one brother, George Jr., and one sister, Ressie Barnett.

To celebrate her life, in God's care, Mary leaves a loving and dedicated daughter Sharon (Michael). Two grandchildren: Norman (Christine), and Sonya; two nephews: Reggie (Cynthia), and Eric; six great-grandchildren: Da'San, Makayla, Norman II., Eliana, China, Bernard, and a host of other family and friends.

Private services will be held at a later date.

To protect the health and safety of all, services are currently being limited as required by state and local authorities and the CDC. Expressions of sympathy during this time can be left on the condolences page available on the obituary portion on our website. We also encourage you to view the video tribute once it becomes available or complete the HeartStrings online sympathy page with the link above. Check the funeral home website for the latest COVID-19 update or changes to the service schedule.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lou Kilgore, please visit our flower store.


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