In memory of

Kenneth Kildore “Skip”, age 60, of Helena

April 5, 1957 – June 21, 2017

Kenneth “Skip” Kildore, age 60, of Helena, passed away quietly in his Sleep on June 21st.  Skip was the long time care taker and life partner of Gary Spaeth, also of Helena.  They were making plans to go back to Mayo in Rochester in two weeks where Skip was cleared to donate his kidney to Gary.

Skip was born in upstate New York and spent his younger years in the Northeast.  He attended college but was mainly self-taught.  He was a voracious reader. He read the classic and other thoughtful writers including books on physics.  He was very interested in politics; both he and Gary regularly listened to Rachel Maddow but he also listened to some more conservative commentators on the radio.

Skip was teaching himself on the guitar, viola and keyboard. He was a great gardener and was planning on taking the Master Gardner Course this fall.  He was a good writer and regularly wrote letters to the editor and other blogs and rewrote Gary’s letters and articles. He had just finished rewriting a fund-raising appeal for Gary for the Fair Foundation.  He worked fairly closely with Gary on the Fairground Bond Election and handed out several thousand brochures in support of the bond issue.

He was a very committed caregiver the last four years to Gary; he was constantly at his side during the five months Gary was in the hospital and the five months he was at the nursing home.  There couldn’t have been a more committed care giver and Skip saved Gary’s life on several occasions.  Skip was a good baker and cook having worked several times in a bakery here and in Maine.

He worked in restaurants as a cook and him and another person ran a restaurant in Dillon. His real love was animals and he is survived by his dogs Zippy and George.  He was totally devoted to them – taking long walks with them and he seemed to be able to communicate with them without even speaking. Any animal that encountered him was an immediate friend.  He and Gary were slowly becoming vegetarians so as not to pain to any animals.

While he was somewhat shy, those people he did connect with became close and committed friends.  He had a big heart and was always supportive of the Humane Society and its animals. He is survived by Gary Spaeth, his life partner, and by his two dogs Zippy and George who are missing him terribly. He will not be replaced in their hearts.   He had no known family other than Gary.  As Gary said, “he was always there and saved my life on more than one occasion and made my life tolerable while i was in the hospital and nursing home.”

Skip did not attend church but was very spiritual.  He believed in reincarnation; you may meet him in his next life.  He will be missed.

A viewing will be held form 12-5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 29th at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Ave., Helena. A Celebration of His Life will be at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017 at Touchmark, 915 Saddle Drive, Helena. In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Skip are suggested to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604 or to a charity of the donor’s choosing. Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Skip.



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  1. Margaret Woo says:

    This news comes as such a shock to me, as it seems like such a short time since I greeted Skip as i walked by your house with the dogs. He was such a good and gentle soul. I am sad for you. Your neighborhood will not be the same without him.

    Margaret, Avy & Breeze

  2. Angela McDannel says:

    Such a thoughtful and generous soul. He often left books, food or other objects that he thought would interest us on my front porch. The neighborhood and our lives will not be the same without him. Gone way too soon.

    Angela and Bruce

  3. Ted and Brenda Schye says:

    Gary, our sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved.

    Ted and Brenda

  4. Seth B Burris says:

    WOW I am totally shocked Skip and me were very good friends and Skip and me ran a restaurant in Dillon, MT for a few years. He was a very caring person and loved long walks in the Mountains hiking just about anywhere he could. Gary Skip and me were very good friends and I even lived in Helena with them for awhile . Gary if you need anything or help let me know I can get away if you need me.

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