John Thomas Killian, age 67, of Isanti died Sepetmber 15, 2011 at home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, September 19th at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Isanti. A visitation will be held from 3:00 – 7:00 P.M. Sunday, September 18th at Strike Funeral Home – Isanti Chapel and also one hour prior to the funeral Monday at the church. Interment will be in Morningside Memorial Gardens in Coon Rapids.
John was born May 23, 1944 in Fosston, MN to Camillus and Katherine (Keim) Killian. He grew up in Fosston, Little Swan, Forbes then to Zim, where he worked on the family farm and worked in the woods cutting pulp wood and Christmas trees. He graduated from Cherry High School in 1962. He graduated from Hibbing Area VoTech for auto mechanics in 1964. He completed further education in many types of welding and auto body repair.
John was employed by Farmington Auto from 1964 to 1966. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1966 and was stationed at Sand Point NAS in Seattle, WA where he was a fireman. On December 2, 1967, while in the Navy, he married the love of his life, Rita Carol Kapala. He was honorably discharged in 1969. He started with UPS in 1970 in Minneapolis and became an automotive manager in 1976 where he managed the UPS automotive departments in northern and central Minnesota. John left UPS in 1983 and went to work for American Trailer in Roseville where he was the shop foreman. From 1987 to 1999 John was the owner of John’s Welding and Hitch in Cambridge where he designed and built many trailers and projects, repaired just about everything and met countless friends. In 1999 the business was purchased by Bob Pankan and Sons Concrete and Masonry and moved to rural Isanti where he continued working, designing, building and repairing to the present day.
His many interests included John Deere tractors, NASCAR, fishing, designing and fixing things for his “boys” and most of all his love for his whole family.
John died unexpectedly on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at home at the age of 67 years, 3 months and 22 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Julie; and sister, Marie.
He is survived by his wife Rita; three sons, Thomas (Laurie) of Superior, Wi, Scott (Cathy) of Ham Lake, Jeffrey (Stephanie) of MoundsView; six grandchildren, Danny, Gabriel, Nate, Jared, Zoey and Maya; five brothers, Gerald (Diana) of Iron, MN, Douglas (Nancy) of Gilbert, MN, Richard of Minneapolis, James (Marie) of Ferndale, WA, Michael (Jane) of Eveleth; four sisters, Sheila (David) German of Grand Rapids, Bette (Lee) Linder of Evansville, WI, Annella (Curt) Collier of Hibbing, Camille (Cevin) Childers of Bellevue, Omaha, NE; and by many other relatives and friends.
Bette Linder (Sister) says
I am deeply saddened by the sudden death of my brother John. He was my chauffeur to many school functions and country dances when we were growing up. He introduced me to my long time love of country music. I enjoyed many long telephone conversations with him over the years. My heart is aching today – there is another broken link in the chain of 11. My thoughts and prayers to his wonderful wife, his sons and their families.
Margie Jablonecki says
Dear Cousin Rita & Family,
I am so saddened by the sudden passing of John. My heart goes out to all of you at this most difficult time. I am so happy that you both came to share Mary Ann’s 60th birthday with us last spring. My thoughts & prayers will be with you in the days ahead & always.
I am here for you, Rita, always…..Love Ya Lots, Your
Cousin, Margie Jablonecki
Camille Childers (Sister) says
My earliest memories of my brother John was him being home to help cut wood with the rest of the boys. I can hear his laugh, and will always remember his love and pride of his family. And listening to Johnny Cash – “real” music. As an adult, John and Rita visited my family several times. He was always full of interesting stories and the conversation was always lively. My husband Cevin and John bonded over Buicks. His easy going manner and gentle smile will be greatly missed by all of us. I feel very fortunate to have had such a wonderful brother and he will always be in my heart.
Beth Linder (Niece) says
I’m so very sad to have learnt of my Uncle John’s passing. There were many holidays that my folks, my brothers, Uncle John & Aunt Rita and the boys got together. I remember being a little girl and going to my uncle john’s house for an Easter egg hunt, he helped me find the good eggs, because that’s what he said I was.
My thoughts and prayers go out to my Aunt Rita and the boys and their families. I love you Johnny, I will never forget you and the wisdom you shared to me. Gnight Uncle.