Thomas Howard Kilby

January 24, 1942 - March 4, 2008

01/24/1942 - 03/04/2008

Past Services

Saturday March 08, 2008
3:00 pm
St. Nicholas Catholic Church
712 Little Neck Road
Virginia Beach, VA

Thomas H. Kilby

Virginia Beach – On March 4, 2008 Thomas H. Kilby died following a sudden illness. Tom was a much loved husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. He was born on January 24, 1942 in Riverside, California, thus beginning a lifetime of moments and lasting impressions shared by family and friends as well as countless adventures that took him around the world.

He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Sharon; his daughter Jennifer Mueller and her husband Stephen of Basking Ridge, New Jersey; daughter Elizabeth McClure and her husband Robert of Gaithersburg, Maryland; and son William Kilby and his wife Alisa of San Diego, California; grandchildren Sarah, Christopher and Julia Mueller; Jack, Erin and Kate McClure; Mayzie Medrano and Devin Kilby. He is also survived by his sister Sharon Abbott and her husband Will, his Aunt Lillian Kilby, and many special nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Harriette Kilby, and his sister Lennell Smith.

In addition to being a treasured family member and friend, Tom was renowned by his peers as an accomplished and respected business man whose career in sales and marketing literally took him all over the country and around the globe. He attended Northwestern University and graduated from the University of Hartford in 1965. The many places where Tom’s career took the family include Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia and international locations in Australia and Germany. Tom began his career path as a salesman and ascended through senior officer positions including Manager, Vice President of Sales & Marketing and eventually President and C.E.O. of several companies where his impact was lasting. He was an innovative business man with the ability to utilize his dynamic communication skills and business savvy, which brought forth positive influences on both established companies as well as newer ventures. Tom was also a valued mentor as an adjunct professor, teaching MBA courses to business students at Old Dominion University’s College of Business & Public Administration, in Norfolk.

But Tom was much more than a business man. He was a good person and an honorable man. His word was always good, his integrity never questioned and his care for others genuine. He was full of love and the target of affection from many. Tom was the master story-teller and always knew just how to build up the moment and draw you in. He had a fantastic sense of humor and loved to laugh, sometimes to the point of tears. Tom also had a strong faith and was a dedicated member of the St. Nicholas Catholic Church community, where he participated in many church ministries. He had a strong spirit, unrivaled work ethic and big heart. The most important thing in Tom’s life was his family. They meant eveything to him and he will be missed.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, March 8th at 3 p.m. at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Virginia Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to a non-profit foundation benefiting orphans in China. To make a donation, please visit Altmeyer Funeral Home, Southside Chapel, is handling the arrangements. Condolences may be offered to the family at

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Paul Martin
8 years ago

Dear Kilby Family,

Tom was such a warm and humble gentleman with a smile on his face and a great little story in his pocket to tell. And, he was such a great listener…always engaged in what you had to say. I am certainly glad to have met him and the family.

Much love and peace.

Dolores Langford
8 years ago

Dear Sharon and family- I was so shocked to see that Tom had passed away. I met ya’ll at Kings Grant House where my mother-in-law was a resident as well as Tom’s Aunt Lillian. Mrs. Langford passed away Feb. 29th. We have thought so much about ya’ll but did not know how to get in touch with you. You and Tom were such caring people to his Aunt. I know that you and your family will truely miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Dick and Carolyn Lammers
8 years ago

Dear Sharon and Family,

We were so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Please accept our sincere condolences.

Dick and Carolyn Lammers

Mary-Margaret Scott
8 years ago

Dear Sharon and family,

I was greatly saddened to hear of Tom’s passing and of your great loss.

Tom was well known to all as a dedicated member of our parish. He displayed wisdom,wit and a just and gentle heart to all. I depend on the Lord’s promise that his disciples with ‘a just heart will see His face and reside in the house of the Father.’ Can anyone doubt that Tom is now in that kingdom that we all long to attain one day?

Know that Tom is still with you. He will watch over you until you see him again. You will hear him one day in the quiet of your hearts.

The Parish Council of Saint Nicholas extends it’s sympathy and prayers to you at this very difficult time.


Mary-Margaret Scott

Council Chairperson

of St.Nicholas Parish

Bill & Marylea Schmidt
8 years ago

Dear Sharon and family, We are so sorry to hear of Tom’s sudden passing. He was a very giving, thoughtful and joyful person. I Bill very much appreciatd Tom introducing me to the Executive Forum and remember when you lived 2 doors away from us on Wexford Way/Grist Mill in Basking Ridge. We’ll also miss the opportunity to say hello to Tom at the annual town carol sing. He often spoke of the family, clearly his first priority in this life. May you take great comfort in memories of the good, happy times.

Nicholas and Shanna Steffens
8 years ago

Dear Sharon,

We were shocked and saddened to hear of Tom’s untimely passing. We wish you and your family all of the strength to get through this time.

Whenever we came to Virginia Beach for business we always looked forward to seeing Tom. He always had a little joke or funny story to make us feel at home.

Shanna and Nick TBG Florida

Letha Marquez
8 years ago

Dear Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Tom. He was such a good man and dearly loved you and his family so much. I am in Illinois until March 16th. As soon as I get back, I will call you. My sincere sympathies go out to you and your family. God Bless, Letha

Ed and Tricia Blair
8 years ago

How sad we are to learn the news of Tom’s death. We are lifting Sharon and the rest of your family up in our prayers.

Our prayers-Ed and Tricia Blair-former members of St. Nicholas Catholic Church

Jane Berkshire
8 years ago

I am so sad to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a tower of strength to me, as were you, Sharon. My prayers are with you and your family. God bless you.

Jane, Nikki & Chris

Molly Maus
8 years ago

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kilby a few years ago when he visited San Diego to see Bill. I have also heard so many wonderful stories about him being a wonderful dad, grandparent and businessman. I am so sincerely sorry to hear about his passing and please know his memory will be with me.

Joanne Page
8 years ago

I knew Tom through his time serving on the board of Virginia Zoo. I was the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director, Lewis Greene. Tom put in so many hours of hard work for the Zoo. He was such a pleasure to work with. His stories were legendary. I was so sad to hear of his passing; he was a good man. My thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.

Sandi Phillips
8 years ago

Kilby Family,

I didn’t know Tom that well, but working with him as an adjunct in the MBA program was a pleasure. He has been one of the easiest adjuncts to get along with in my 10 years here. I was very sorry to hear of his passing.

Seth W.
8 years ago

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the entire Kilby family.

Having met Tom, briefly at Bill’s wedding it’s no mystery where the wonderful “Kilby Sense of Humor” and vibrance originated.


Seth and Rachel Wulsin

Bob & Gini Wick
8 years ago

Sharon and Family,

We are sorry for your loss and will keep you in our prayers asking God to give each of you the strength to move forward in you lives at this difficult time.

Bob & Gini Wick

Carol Grocki DiGiorgio
8 years ago


I’m so sorry to hear about Tom. I remember him as a warm, engaging man devoted to you and your family. You are all in my prayers.

Bob Sloane
8 years ago

To the Kilby Family,

Tom was one of the original “Charter members” of the Executive Forum in 1995. He will be remembered as a kind, caring, and giving gentle man who always demonstrated EF values – he cared as much about helping others in the organization as getting help himself. A former EF Board Co-Chair, Tom also led important initiatives including the EF Good Life Group for our Alumni who were in post-corporate but still very active lifestyles. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tom’s family. All of us were gratified to have had the opportunity to know and work with him.

Eric & Linda Hansen
8 years ago

We are so saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. Although we only knew Tom for a short time, we enjoyed his kindness, sense of humor, and gift of gab. May God bless and grant you peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Love, Eric, Linda, Erin, Alex, and Ruth

Paul & Lynda Metzger
8 years ago

We will always remember our years in Antioch with Tom. I have lost a great friend in Tom. No one ever called me “Pablo” or gave me such a hard time for my golf cart driving. We should have played more. Tom was such fun even when he was criticizing my golf gamealways or reminding me at church not to look at him while I was lectoring because he would be pointing at his eye. I knew I would crack up if I saw him so I never looked at Tom and Sharon. He will be sorely missed. And somewhere on Sewell’s Point Golf Course there is a sad raven who always stole only Tom’s nabs despite Tom’s best effort to hide them. Here’s hoping we can play

again in heaven and God allows mulligans. Paul