On March 20, 2023, Edward Louis “Red” Pilkington, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away at the age of 90.
Ed was born May 2, 1932, in Morrilton, Arkansas, to the late Everett Edgar and Iva Marie (Russell) Pilkington. While Ed was in junior high school, his family relocated to Conway Arkansas, where he graduated from high school a few years later (1950), and, more importantly, met his future wife, Patsy Ann Brannon.
Ed and Patsy were married in Conway on Dec. 28, 1952, and celebrated 50 years of marriage before Patsy’s passing in May 2003. Together, Pat and Ed raised 3 children, Rhonda (Owens), Brad, and Molly (Ragusky).
Ed served honorably in the United States Air Force during the Korean War years. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1958 and worked for 30+ years as an aeronautical engineer, helping to develop the seats for the Gemini program capsule, as well as working on the F4, F15, Harrier, and other projects while employed at McDonnell Douglas.
Ed was also a certified HVAC installer and technician/repairman. He planned for this to be his “retirement” job, but it turned into mostly a ministry while he and Patsy were serving as Single Adult Ministry leaders at FBC, Ferguson, MO for several years.
He could fix almost anything and gave much of his time doing so for family and friends.
Ed was a serious Bible student, actively involved in teaching children and adults at Parker Road Baptist Church in Florissant (where he also served as a deacon and on various committees, and as a bus ministry driver and mechanic), and at Webster Groves Baptist Church, FBC, Ferguson, and Fee Fee Baptist Church.
Ed was an avid golfer, sinking 2 holes-in-one in his career, and eventually finding his real retirement job, working as a mower and repairman at the Eagle Springs Golf Course in Florissant, MO for 20+ years, culminating in 2020 when Covid 19 hit.
Ed was an athlete, starring in football, basketball, and track in high school, and successfully trying out for and walking on to the Georgia Tech Freshman basketball team in college. He was a fast-pitch softball pitcher for several years, and coached various Little League baseball and basketball teams, tracking his son Brad through his athletic journey. Ed and Pat enjoyed playing tennis in their younger years, as well as participating for several years in the St. Louis area Baptist Bowling League.
Ed loved to tinker with cars and was especially fond of the MGB 2-seater he purchased and “massaged” for Molly during her teenage years, and Rhonda’s 1977 Camaro, which underwent some upgrade modifications at his hand. Ed’s grandkids are thankful for his help with providing or helping to provide each of their first vehicles.
Ed’s love of cars went beyond making sure family vehicles were operating properly. He developed a love for NASCAR racing later in life, prompted by his grandson Jack, and drove his truck to several races, including Daytona several times, Talladega, Miami Homestead, Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, and the Kentucky Motor Speedway. You might have seen him sporting his Kyle Busch #18 cap, t-shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket, which he wore often!
Ed was preceded in death by his loving wife Patsy, sister Ava Marie (Pete) Meadows; brothers David and Tom Pilkington.
Ed is survived by his daughter, Rhonda (Wes) Owens; son Brad (Paula) Pilkington; and daughter Molly (Phil) Ragusky; grandchildren Jacob and Emily Owens; Jack Pilkington; Shelby (Greg) Barnett, Carly and Dani Ragusky; and great-grandchild Brynlee Neal.
The funeral service for Ed will be officiated by Dr. Mark Grossmann, a dear family friend.
Memorial contributions may be made in Ed's name to the American Heart Association.
Baue Funeral Homes is currently following CDC recommendations regarding mask and social distancing policies.