|Margaret Lucille Kilpatrick died Saturday, December 10, 2011, at 8:26 p.m., aged 98, peacefully with family at her bedside, at Seminary Manor, 2345 N. Seminary St. , Galesburg, Ill. Margaret was born February 12, 1913 to Margaret May Wilhite and William Fletcher Harrison on a farm north of Bowen, Hancock County, Ill.
She was the fourth child, arriving late in her parents' lives. Margaret wrote "I was a loved and spoiled child." She graduated from Bowen High School in 1931, and 10 days later, she married Sterling G. Bilderback of Huntsville, Schuyler County, Ill. To this union were born three sons, Marvin Lowell, Robert Douglas and Roger Kent. In 1947, they divorced, and Margaret took her sons back to her home town of Bowen to raise them among caring relatives.
In 1956, she was hired as a Placement Interviewer with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Her appointment was in the Galesburg office, Knox County Ill. The same year, she married Ross C. Kilpatrick on May 5, 1956 in Pekin, Ill. They spent many years together traveling the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan and India. He preceded her in death on December 24, 1985.
Margaret retired after 25 years as a Placement Interviewer. She later wrote "I loved every day of my work as I love people." She lamented many times that she had retired too soon at 68 years of age. She soon took on a new endeavor of researching her parents' ancestry. She traveled to Germany to research the Wilhite ancestry and later took a trip to England to research the Harrison ancestry. She also traveled throughout the U. S. researching and exchanging genealogy. Margaret volunteered as a "Genie" at the Galesburg Public Library assisting others with their genealogy research. Her genealogy collection has been donated to the Library.
Margaret loved gardening, baking and preserving her own foods, most notably her own version of what she called V-8 tomato juice-the spicier the better - and strawberry preserves. She had more energy and vitality than many half her age and always kept busy. Her many hobbies included sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery work. One phase of handicrafts was hand-painting dolls and many ceramics, including porcelain nativity sets for each of her sons.
Margaret was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church in Galesburg and a past secretary of the Board of Trustees. She held many offices with the Knox County Genealogical Society and was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Grace Chapter #67, Carthage, Ill.; a 50-year member of Galesburg American Legion Auxiliary; and past president of the Palatines to America, Illinois Chapter.
Margaret is survived by her three sons, Marvin Bilderback, Mendon, Ill.; Robert Bilderback, Bowen, Ill.; and Roger (Joyce) Bilderback, Ballwin, Mo.; five grandchildren, Teresa Bilderback, Harrisonville, Mo.; Lisa Bilderback, El Paso, Texas; Sheri L. Bilderback, Brentwood, Mo.; Nicholas Bilderback, Los Angeles, Calif.; Robert Douglas Bilderback, Chandler, Ariz.; and one great-grandchild, Lisa Nichole Bilderback, El Paso, Texas.
Preceding her in death were her parents; two brothers, William Guy Harrison and Roy M. Harrison; and one sister, Ina Harrison Crossland.
Margaret requested no funeral service. Her body will be cremated with interment in the Bowen, Ill. cemetery. Those wishing to honor Margaret's memory may make contributions to the Knox County Genealogical Society, c/o Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Home, 1070 W. Fremont, Galesburg, 61401. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.