Meredith Lamar Kilgore, aged 64, of Birmingham, AL died peacefully at home on October 17, 2018. To those who knew him, there was never a dull moment with Meredith around.
Born on August 26, 1954 in Shreveport, Louisiana, he spent his early childhood years there; moved to Nashville, Tennessee at age six; and Louisville, Kentucky at ten. He spent several memorable summers in Glorietta, New Mexico. While attending Ballard High School in the early 1970's, Meredith was elected class president after firing up the students by reading them the New York City Student Bill of Rights in his campaign speech. The principal tried to remind him who was in charge so Meredith let him think he was.
After struggling for several years as a jazz pianist, Meredith moved to Honolulu, Hawaii at twenty-three. He discovered that Don Ho controlled the music industry there prompting him to change careers. Starting as an aide, he completed a nursing degree and became certified in pediatric cardiovascular intensive care. He practiced nursing in hospitals for twenty-five years, but cared for people throughout his life. Always the student, he earned a Political Science degree with a minor in Japanese at the University of Hawaii. While there, he became interested in health economics. This interest led to a Masters degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a PhD from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California. He was recruited back to UAB where he taught how medical decision-making relates to quality of life and treatment options. Meredith would certainly want his students to know that there are indeed health states worse than death. Meredith also served as the Chair of the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy from 2012 until August of 2018.
Meredith leaves behind his best friend, student, and colleague, who by no coincidence is his wife, Julie Locher. He also leaves behind the joy of his life, Jaxon Steele Bodner (his three year old grandson) and his step-daughter, Alexandria Bodner. His death is preceded by that of his father, Robert Gene Kilgore. He is survived by his loving mother, Elizabeth Kilgore, and his brother, Michael Kilgore (and his wife Heather) along with their children Meghan Harrison (Byron), Drew (Sarah), and Elyse and their children. In addition to family, he parts with countless treasured colleagues, trainees, coworkers, and neighbors.
Meredith spent the last hours of his life at home surrounded by his loving family. During his final departure, he had Julie on one side and Mike on the other, both holding his hands, while Heather helped Jaxon get to the piano to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star one last time for Meredith.
A celebration of Meredith's life will be held on Thursday, November 8 at 2pm at East Lake United Methodist Church (7753 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35206) with the Reverend Sally Allocca officiating. A reception will follow.
The family requests that donations honoring Meredith's life be made to P.E.E.R., Inc., the non-profit connected to the church that runs the East Lake Farmers Market and community health initiatives (http://www.eastlakemarket.org/how-to-help/donations/).
The family is especially grateful for the care that Meredith received at The Kirklin Clinic, The Wound Care Clinic, The Whitaker Clinic, UAB Hospital, and Alacare Hospice.