John James Killian, beloved brother, husband, father, and grandfather, died at Penrose Hospital on Friday, February 9, 2019 of long-term complications from a motor vehicle accident several years ago.
John was born on August 15, 1960 at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Lawrence Edwin Killian and Eloise Keller Hessling Killian, growing up in Ferguson, Missouri with his parents and six siblings. He graduated from McCluer High School in Ferguson, then served very proudly for three years in the US Army, where he met his wife of 39 years, Christie Farmer Killian, and was then Honorably Discharged. He and Christie lived many years in Fort Riley, KS area (Junction City and Chapman), raising their beloved daughter April Michelle Killian, and then moved in 2008 to Colorado Springs.
Over the years, his greatest love and devotion was to his family, church and friends, and was also always devoted to taking care of others, giving to others at every opportunity. Another great love of John’s was being a sports fan, especially of his hometown St. Louis Cardinals (and hence hating the Cubs) and the Denver Broncos. In the 1970's, John and his brother Terry routinely watched the St. Louis Football Cardinals (known at the Cardiac Cards) together.
John worked at Hodgdon Pyrodex for 19 years, at Fort Carson for 5 years, and was employed at Pueblo Chemical Depot at the time of the serious car accident that ended his working years.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Eloise Killian (in 2006) and Lawrence (in 2011), by his father-in-law Dean in 2016 year and his mother-in-law Carolyn last year.
John is survived by his loving and devoted wife Christie; his wonderful daughter April Killian Nutsch; his son-in-law Jeffri Nutsch; his three-month old grandson Hawthorne Keller and his five sisters Charlotte Blessing (Bonterre, MO; children Denise, Fran, Ric and Joann); Mary Harris (St. Louis, MO, children Christine, Greg, Kevin and Amanda); Carla Gacki (Jacksonville Fl, husband John Gacki, children Krista, Stacey, Kelly and Stephanie); Janet Gittemeier(Daytona Beach FL, husband Terry Allen, children Kim, Robin and Terry Steven); and Joan Cherry (St. Ann, MO, children Melissa and Ryan); his only brother, Terry Michael (Williamsville, IL, wife Becky, children Hana, Michael, Jenni, Joe, Heather and Teddy); and many nieces and nephews in various towns around the country.
John always had a close relationship with his siblings.
His sister Charlotte fondly remembers: "John was the glue that held the family together with his unconditional love for each of us."
His sister Mary fondly remembers: "My Johnny Jimmy coming home from the hospital. It was August and so hot. This tiny baby in his crib in mom and dad’s room – I felt so maternal towards him. As a toddler he would climb in my bed most nights. He played “fake out” and pretend to be asleep. But, of course, the big smile on his face always gave him away. I remember the straw he carried around all the time and he hated mashed potatoes – he was always a “little weird”. My special Johnny Jimmy, I’ll miss you! So until we meet again."
His sister Carla fondly remembers: "My beloved brother, from the day mom brought you home, the love, joy and laughter that came with you is a memory as tangible as 58 years ago. The only comfort is picturing mom and dad welcoming you into heaven."
His sister Janet fondly remembers: "When Terry and I were dating, Terry took John and Joan to his work Christmas party. John must have eaten a dozen hot dogs that day. We laughed because we thought he was going to explode! But he had fun and that's what mattered. ****
I loved how we made fun of each other, how I was mom and dad’s favorite, and he insisted he was. Well, I guess he's now right. Love you John!"
His brother Terry fondly remembers: "John generously providing money when Terry was in medical school; ****all those long-ago Sunday afternoons watching the Cardiac Cards; ****teaching John to play baseball, which John generously repaid by hitting a baseball right back at Terry and hitting him in a most unfortunate location; ****and the great times hiking together at Rocky Mountain National Park and the Grand Tetons."
His sister Joan fondly remembers: "When we were young, John asked me to stand across the room as he lovingly used me as target practice hurling paper wads with rubber bands at me. That was John's sense of humor and I loved him for it. **** John's love of animals and the outdoors. When We Were Young John always had fish, Guinea pigs or hamsters and as an adult he had dog’s horses’ chickens and Longhorn cattle that he took care of as lovingly as John showed to everyone, he was as proud of his family as I am of him."
Visitation, 10:00AM-11:00AM, Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Evergreen Funeral Home, 1830 East Fountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80910.
Funeral Service, 11:00AM, Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Evergreen Funeral Home.
Burial with military honors immediately following the funeral service at Evergreen Cemetery, 1005 S. Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80903.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's name to Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region https://www.hsppr.org/springs/donate#donate-anchor or to the Wounded Warrior Project