At the age of 101, Erlene Kilgore of Spring Arbor, MI passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on March 3, 2020. Erlene was at Arbor North Living Center in Jackson, MI at the time of her death. Erlene was the oldest child of Walter Franklin Emans and Lottie Amelia (Agler) Emans of Van Wert, Ohio. Erlene was born in Mendon, OH on September 8, 1918. She married Martin Kilgore on January 31, 1942 and celebrated 75 years of marriage prior to Martin’s death on October 31, 2017. Erlene has two sons, Gary (Mary Beth) of Indianapolis, IN and Tom (Jann) of Parma, MI. She had six grandchildren: Kara (Dave) Benson of Zionsville, IN, Kevin (Casey) Kilgore of Tifton, GA, Shelby (Andrew) Raines of Parma, MI, Jennifer (Eric) Craft of Lansing, MI, Melissa (John) Moffitt of Spring Arbor, MI, and Teresa (Noah) Nagy of Spring Arbor, MI. Erlene had 17 great-grandchildren. She was also loved by many nieces and nephews.
Erlene graduated from Van Wert High School in Van Wert, OH. She also attended beauty college and worked as a beautician while Martin was serving in the United States Army. In 1955 Erlene and the family moved to Hillsdale, MI and Martin operated Bud’s Hamburgers for his sister. Erlene was well known for supplying Bud’s Hamburgers with the best homemade pies in Hillsdale County. She also served as the organist, Sunday School teacher, and youth director at the Free Methodist Church in Hillsdale. In 1966, Erlene and Martin moved to Spring Arbor, MI where he served as food service director at S.A.C. and she managed the college bookstore until her retirement in 1981. She is a long-time member of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church. Upon retirement, Erlene spent many hours planting and maintain beautiful flower beds around the house. She loved to travel with her husband, relatives, and friends. She even took up golf for a time.
According to her wishes, Erlene will be buried at a family ceremony in the Spring Arbor Cemetery. A celebration of Erlene’s life will be held at the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church, 120 E. Main St., Spring Arbor MI 49283 on March 21, 2020 at 11:00am. Visitation will be held from 10:00am until the time of service at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family would like any donations to be directed to the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church/International Child Care Ministries.
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International Child Care Ministries
770 N. High School Rd., Indianapolis IN 46214