August 11, 2021

VUMC Neurology pioneer Anthony Kilroy mourned

Anthony W. Kilroy, MD, adjunct associate professor of Pediatrics, died July 25. He was 86.

Anthony W. Kilroy, MD

Anthony W. Kilroy, MD, adjunct associate professor of Pediatrics, died July 25. He was 86.

Born in Hendon, Middlesex, England, Dr. Kilroy received his medical training at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in London, England, and was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He practiced medicine in England for nine years before coming to Nashville and joining VUMC’s Department of Pediatrics. In 1970, Dr. Kilroy helped to develop the inaugural Department of Neurology. He founded and directed the first electromyography laboratory to assess muscle weakness and nerve conduction.

He was known as an educator, having trained and mentored thousands of medical and nursing students, residents and fellows over a 40-year career at VUMC.

“I was very fortunate to overlap part of my career with Dr. Kilroy,” said Kevin Ess, MD, director of the Division of Pediatric Neurology. “He was a mentor to many over the years and was unfailingly calm as well as witty and polite to patients, families and colleagues. He was also very generous with his time and was an enthusiastic supporter of VUMC.”

After his retirement in 2010, Dr. Kilroy, an avid and accomplished skier, spent his winters in Colorado, where he served as an ambassador at Copper Mountain.

Dr. Kilroy was predeceased by his parents, Adele and Phillip Kilroy. He is survived by his siblings Catherine Kilroy (Adolfo), Segovia, Spain; Bernard Kilroy (Janine), Hartley Wintney, England; Gerard Kilroy, Bath, England; Judith Reid (Kenneth), Ledbury, Herefordshire, England; and many nieces and nephews. He was a devout Catholic and a member of the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

A special funeral mass for Dr. Kilroy is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. Fr. Eric Fowlkes will celebrate the mass at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 2015 West End Avenue. The family suggests that donations in his memory be made to the Anthony W Kilroy MD Fund-Discovery Science in Pediatric Neurology at VUMC or to a charity of your choice.