The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

April 23, 2013

Ralph Edward ‘Rip’ Kilgore

Former district justice owned detective agency


---- — Ralph Edward “Rip” Kilgore, formerly of 4880 Lakeview Drive, Hermitage, went home to be with the Lord peacefully with his family by his side at 12:25 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2013. He was 92.

Mr. Kilgore was born June 6, 1920, in Hickory Township, now Hermitage, to Domer and Myrtle Bartholomew Kilgore.

He graduated from Hickory High School, Hermitage, where he played basketball, then attended Youngstown State University.

Ralph was employed by Hickory Township, first as a police officer, and later as an elected district justice, a post he held 20 years.

When he was elected, he nominated John Whitmore to be head of the police department. While he was a district justice he also was a deputy sheriff under George Bryan.

In 1962, he became the first private detective in Mercer County and was founder of Kilgore Detective and Security Service, which he owned and operated for 45 years. His company operated in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Florida, was involved in foreign cases and provided security for 10 years at The Great Stoneboro Fair.

In 1998, he sold his security firm to Doyle in Erie, which is now known as Pinkerton. Ralph retained his detective license and his agency license until the age of 88, when he retired.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Sharon, and attended First Assembly of God Church, Hermitage. On Feb. 6, 1999, he rededicated his life to the Lord.

He served in the Army’s military police during World War II in Baltimore.

Ralph was a member of the World and International detective associations. He enjoyed his vacation homes in Madison and Saybrook, both Ohio, and Lighthouse Point, Fla.

His wife, the former Virginia Llewellyn, whom he married Sept. 25, 1940, passed away Feb. 4, 1999.

Surviving are: a daughter, Barbara Hunter and her husband Michael, Hermitage; two grandchildren, Erika and Isaiah; and a great-granddaughter, Shiloh.

He also leaves his dog, Winnie, and several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Ellsworth Kilgore, Howard C. Kilgore and Grant “Red” Kilgore.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Assembly of God Church, 1455 N. Keel Ridge Road, or Bill Rudge Ministries, 280 N. Buhl Farm Drive, both Hermitage, PA 16148.


Ralph Edward “Rip,” 92, formerly of 4880 Lakeview Drive, Hermitage.

Calling hours: 10 a.m. to time of service Thursday (4-25-13) in First Assembly of God Church, Hermitage. Friends may sign a guestbook at

Service: Funeral service at 11 a.m. Thursday in the church with the Rev. Kenneth E. Martin, pastor, officiating. Full military honors will be rendered by Veterans of Foreign Wars Hickory Post 6166, Hermitage.

Burial: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Hermitage.

Arrangements by JOHN FLYNN FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY Inc., 2630 E. State St., Hermitage.