Skip to Main Content

Memory Hold The Door, Volume IV: 1988–1997

Memory Hold The Door Honorees from 1988 to 1997.

Robert Lawton Kilgo, Sr. (1917–1992)

Robert L. Kilgo, Sr., or Bob, as we liked to call him, was born in Darlington, the son of James P. and Ola Blakeley Kilgo. He received his B.A. degree from Wofford College in 1938 and his LL.B. degree from USC Law School in 1947.

Between his graduation from Wofford and Law School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, served with distinction in the Pacific Theatre; won a battlefield commission as an infantry officer, commanded a rifle company in the 24th infantry division, and after being awarded both the bronze star and silver medals for bravery and valor in action, was discharged from active duty.

He practiced law in Darlington for 45 years, serving as Solicitor for the Fourth Judicial Circuit from 53 to 65. Kilgo served as President of the Darlington County Bar Association, was a member of the S.C. Bar, the S.C. Trial Lawyers, and had an active practice in both the State and Federal jurisdictions, including the appellant levels. He helped organize the Southern 500 Raceway, and served as an officer in that organization. He was unstinting in his devotion and dedication to his church, Trinity Methodist Church of Darlington, his community, his family, friends and clientele. He was a man of great intelligence and curiosity. No detail escaped him, and his closing arguments were as brilliant as his smile. He had the uncanny ability of painting a large canvas with just a few brushstrokes. Known for his compassion and dedication to any just cause, we, who knew him and loved him, respected him highly for his integrity, as well as the honor and dignity in which he dealt with his fellowmen.

He was first married to Evalyn Johnson Kilgo. They had two children, Robert L. Kilgo, Jr. who carries on the law practice, and Evalyn K. Hoffmann. In November 1979, he married Alice Gamble Kilgo, who survives him and is with us today.

This was the brilliant, hardworking, determined Bob Kilgo, that we, who knew and loved him, remember here today. He was my mentor, always in search of justice, and most of all, a very dear friend, whom we all shall sorely miss.