Joanne M. Kilian

February 18, 1935 ~ October 6, 2021 (age 86)


Joanne Marie Kilian went home to be with Jesus on October 6, 2021. She was born on February 18, 1935 to Hilton and Clairdine Carpenter in Cody, NE. They moved to Sedro Woolley, WA and then to Sunnyside where she graduated in the Class of ‘53. 

She was a Grizzly through and through serving on Sunnyside School Board for over 30 years. She regularly attended SHS sports and loved attending events in the auditorium. She took pride knowing that she had been instrumental in the decision to have it built. Over her lifetime, she attended numerous meetings often using her wry humor to defuse tension or relieve boredom.

On February 20, 1955 she married Herman Kilian Jr. They built a successful farm on Bethany Rd where she was more than just a farm wife, but also a helpmate and tractor driver. They raised 3 children, Duane, Cindy, and John.  

Her desire to serve Christ led her to involvement with the United Methodist Church both locally and at district and state levels.  After her children were grown she was called to become a lay pastor at Liberty United Methodist Church in Granger where she loved, led, and served alongside her flock, making lasting friendships that she cherished. 

A place near and dear to her heart was Lazy F Camp near Ellensburg where she volunteered her time leading summer camps, washing dishes in the kitchen and enjoying winter weekends.  She also spent many years on the advisory board and site committees for the camp.  She was truly willing to do whatever work was needed.  

Because she valued education, Joanne was an active member of PEO. She took pride that her daughter, Cindy and a granddaughter, Becky, attended Cottey College. 

She was predeceased by her husband, Herman in August, 2019 and a great grandchild. She is survived by her son, Duane (Elizabeth Allen) of Gresham, OR, Cindy Jensen (Tim) of Yakima, and John (Jean) of Sunnyside. 10 grandchildren, Katie Eylar, Colton, Amy Grimm, Redmond,  Janelle Schlichting, Lacey, Sarah Bestebreur, Richland,  Becky Rowe and Gail Doyle, Yakima, David Epperson, Chelan, Noah and Elijah Kilian, Gresham, OR, and Miriam Kilian, Boston, MA, also 15 great grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held at 1:30 PM on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at the United Methodist Church, 906 E Edison Ave, Sunnyside, WA.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center, 16170 Manastash Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926 or to the charity of your choice.  Those wishing to sign Joanne’s online memorial book may do so at   Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.





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Celebration of Life
October 16, 2021

1:30 PM
United Methodist Church
906 E Edison Ave.
Sunnyside, WA 98944

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