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Joseph D. Kilgallon, longtime Social Security Administration official, dies

Joseph D. Kilgallon, whose career as a Social Security Administration official spanned more than four decades, died June 29 from cancer at Gilchrist Hospice in Columbia. The Ellicott City resident was 80.
Joseph D. Kilgallon, whose career as a Social Security Administration official spanned more than four decades, died June 29 from cancer at Gilchrist Hospice in Columbia. The Ellicott City resident was 80. (HANDOUT)

Joseph D. Kilgallon, a Social Security Administration official whose career spanned more than four decades, died June 29 from cancer at Gilchrist Hospice in Columbia. The Ellicott City resident was 80.

James Donald Kilgallon, son of John Donald Kilgallon, owner of a men’s clothing store, and his wife, Geraldine Givens Kilgallon, a homemaker, was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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He was a 1958 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy in Texarkana, Texas, and studied for two years at Texarkana Community College, before enlisting in the Army Reserve as a military policeman. In 1962, he was a magna cum laude graduate of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. He later earned a master’s degree in 1972 from the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1963, he married his high school sweetheart, the former Helen Frame in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Mount Washington.

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Mr. Kilgallon began working for the SSA in 1967 at its Woodlawn headquarters and through the years held critical positions in training, disability evaluation and congressional liaison. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the SSA’s Commissioner’s Citation.

Mr. Kilgallon attended a year-long residential leadership program at the University of Virginia, and was selected as liaison to Congress in the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

He retired in 2010.

In 1965, he was selected for a direct commission as a lieutenant in the Army’s Adjutant General Corps. During his career, his varied assignments included serving as chief of manpower and personnel management with the 310th Theater Army Area Command and as a recruiter for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

He spent his last few years until 1993 when he retired with the rank of colonel, with the Army’s Disability Agency, where he helped adjudicate disability claims for soldiers returning from Operation Desert Storm. His decorations included the Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

He was a longtime communicant of the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City where he volunteered and served as a Eucharistic minister.

He enjoyed running and was an avid fan of Johns Hopkins University lacrosse.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered at his church July 6.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, he is survived by a son, Steve Kilgallon of Elkridge; a daughter, Karen Doherty of Firestone, Colorado; a brother Don Kilgallon of Lutherville; and eight grandchildren.

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