American Veteran 04

Joseph Donald Kilgallon

October 29, 1939 ~ June 29, 2020 (age 80)


Distinguished Civil Servant


On Monday, June 29, 2020, Colonel Joseph D. Kilgallon, United States Army Reserve (retired), age 80, of Ellicott City, Maryland, passed away after a valiant year long battle with cancer. Joe was born on October 29, 1939 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to the late John Donald Kilgallon and Geraldine Givens Kilgallon.

A gifted athlete and outstanding student, he graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Texarkana, Texas. After two years of study at Texarkana Community College, he enlisted in the Army Reserve as a military policeman. He graduated in 1962 magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history and government from King's College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

On August 24, 1963, Joe married his high school sweetheart, the former Helen Frame, in Dallas, Texas. The couple settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where Joe began working for the Social Security Administration. They later moved to Ellicott City and raised three children. Joe earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1972.

A few highlights from his distinguished career in civil service: during his 43 year career at Social Security, he served in critical positions in training, disability evaluation and congressional liaison. He was awarded the prestigious Social Security Administration Commissioner's Citation, and was selected for a Congressional Fellowship.

A leader in the central Social Security Administration headquarters, Joe was selected for special programs of that agency, including a year-long residential leadership program at the University of Virginia, as well as being selected as liaison to Congress in the office of United States Senator Patrick Leahy.

In 1965, then Corporal Kilgallon was selected for a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corps. He retired from the Army Reserve with the rank of Colonel in 1993. Over his career, he served in a variety of assignments including Chief of Manpower and Personnel Management with the 310th Theater Army Area Command and Recruiter for the United States Military Academy. He spent his last few years of service on active duty with the U.S. Army Disability Agency, helping to adjudicate disability claims for soldiers returning from Operation Desert Storm. His awards included the Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

A lifelong Catholic and a man of great faith, he frequently volunteered and served as a eucharistic minister at his parish. In his free time, he was an avid fan of the Notre Dame football and Johns Hopkins lacrosse teams, and he coached for the Howard County Lacrosse Program and for Cardinal Gibbons High School lacrosse program.

Joe is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years, Helen; son John Kilgallon and daughter-in-law Valerie of Laurel, Maryland; daughter Karen Doherty and son-in-law Sean of Firestone, Colorado; and son Steven Kilgallon and daugher-in-law Pamela of Elkridge, Maryland. He was the cherished grandfather of eight grandchildren: Kylie, Teagan, Liam, Maura, Shea and the late Brennan Doherty, and Mary and Rachel Kilgallon. He also leaves behind a beloved brother, Don Kilgallon, of Lutherville, Maryland.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, July 6th, at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Resurrection, 3175 Paulskirk Dr, Ellicott City, MD 21042. Interment will be private.


Mass of Christian Burial
July 6, 2020

10:30 AM
Church of the Resurrection
3175 Paulskirk Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21042

A private family burial

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