Herman Kilian Jr. was born to Herman and Lina Kilian in White Bluffs, WA on January 24, 1931 and died peacefully at home on August 3, 2019 finally achieving his goal of meeting his Lord and Savior.
Herman lived his passion, farming. His family was displaced when the government bought their land in White Bluffs to build the Hanford Nuclear Plant. They moved to Sunnyside, bought farmland, and started over. After graduating from Sunnyside High School in 1949, he built a successful farm supporting and being supported by his brothers Fred, Winfield, and Ervin. They shared equipment, advice, and hard work. Kilian Brothers Farms were the proud owners of the first grape picking machine in the Yakima Valley. Herman also had a special and hard working helpmate in his wife Joanne whom he married on February 20, 1955. This 64 year marriage was blessed with 3 children, Duane, Cindy and John, 10 grandchildren, and so far 13 great-grandchildren, all who have been blessed by the generosity and love from this stubborn German. He set an example of hard work and expected it from those who worked with him butnever let anyone work harder than he.
Besides farming Herman loved sharing with and serving others. He was a longtime faithful member of Sunnyside United Methodist Church. He served in many capacities and built many friendships there. He taught Sunday school, organized and coached church league basketball, and counseled church camps at Lazy F to name only a few. He served the community as an active member of Kiwanis. He later became a Gideon and loved sharing the word of God and his faith by handing out Bibles as often as he could. He was passionate about getting Bibles into as many hands as possible knowing that there is nothing more important than sharing the good news of Christ.
This big man left a big impression on everyone who met him. There are few people who knew him that don’t have a story to share about him! He will be missed, but our loss is heaven’s gain. His family plans to continue his legacy by loving Jesus, loving each other, and working hard.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 AM on August 15, 2019 at Sunnyside United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Gideons or to a charity of your choice. Those wishing to sign Herman’s online memorial may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home in care of arrangements.