Raymond W. Killian, age 97, a retired president of Kittenger Furniture Company, died May 7, 2014, in Bradenton, Florida. Family and friends are invited to a memorial Mass on July 19 at St. Stephen R.C. Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island, with brunch to follow in the church community room.
Raymond was born on Aug. 17, 1916, on Grand Island in the days before electricity, telephone, and bridges. He attended one-room schools starting at age 4 and graduated from Tonawanda High School in 1933 at age 16. Raymond and his brothers Kenneth (deceased), Donald (deceased), Walter, and sister Catherine all grew up on Grand Island. Raymond married Beatrice Murphy of the Riverside section of Buffalo in 1941. Beatrice passed away in 2007.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, as master sergeant of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ofﬁcer Candidate School and in Europe with the combat engineers in England, Belgium, Netherlands, France and Germany building bridges over the Elbe and Rhine rivers. After the war he attended Canisius College to study business and accounting while working at Kittenger in a factory position and raising his growing family. He worked as night watchman so he could attend day classes and graduated in 1952 19 years after high school graduation. He went to work at Kittenger as an accountant, then comptroller, vice president of ﬁnance, and as president from 1968 until his retirement in 1975.
Beatrice and Raymond had seven children: Daniel (Jennifer) Killian, Patricia (Jerald) Meyers, Gerald (Marc) Killian, Maureen (Andrew) Swaney, Elizabeth (Terry) Prange, Joseph (Maureen) Killian and the late Raymond Killian Jr. There are 16 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and many great-great-grandchildren.
Beatrice and Raymond were active members at St. Stephen Church. They were also active members of several Western New York dancing clubs, both square dancing and round. They retired to Sun City, Arizona, in 1979, where they resided for 15 years. They then moved to Stafford, Virginia, and Spotsylania, Virginia, with daughter Maureen Swaney and her husband Andrew. When Beatrice died in 2007, Raymond came to live in Kenmore with his son Daniel and his wife Jennifer. All three spent winters at Sun City Center, Florida.
Raymond lived an active life right up to the end, enjoying family events and activities and delighting in his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Kaiser Funeral Home.