Christopher Wade "Whitey" Kilian, 56, of Mesa Arizona, formerly of Russell, Kansas, moved to Heaven on Friday, October 10, 2014, at 4:20pm.
Whitey was born in Russell, Kansas, on May 16, 1958, and was the fifth of six children born to Donald Lee and Mary Ann Kilian. Whitey got his name early in life from his dad, a reference to his white blonde hair and the movie “Boys Town”. He played football in high school and played baritone in the band program.
Whitey lived his first 30 or so years in Russell, Kansas. He worked as a pumper for Mai Oil Operations and spent many weekends laughing with friends at the infamous Green Lantern Tavern. Whitey married Angelia Rhodes in 1988 and helped raise Angelia's three children, Carla, Bobby and Stephanie, for the twelve years he was married. After the oil industry crashed, Whitey decided to open his own bar, affectionately called "Whitey's". And . . . anyone who passed through Russell during that time knew the place.
Whitey then traded the cold weather of Kansas for the warm sunshine of Mesa, Arizona, where he remained for the rest of his life. He managed All Pro Transmission for many years and spent his weekends with friends at Mr. B's, the American Legion, and Mad Dog Saloon.
Whitey was an avid sports guy. He loved all sports, especially the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Kansas Jayhawks. He also loved to golf with friends every weekend.
Whitey was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May, 2014. Whitey fought a hard fight against the disease but never lost his sense of humor or his love for his family and friends.
Whitey was preceded in death by his loving mother Mary Kilian. Survivors include: Donald, father; two sisters, Sheila Verbraken, husband Michael of Mesa, AZ, and Sonya Voorhies, husband, Rick of Show Low, AZ; 3 brothers, Sam, wife Cheryl of Russell, KS, Donald Jr. partner, Carla Cotton of Independence, MO., Dwight Kilian, wife, Sandy of Phoenix, AZ.; his step children, Carla, Bobby and Stephanie; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his many, many, many friends.
Whitey was a loving son, brother, uncle, step dad, football player, baritone player, Russell native, Mesa transplant, oil pumper, and transmission shop manager. But mostly, Whitey was a great friend to everyone.
A celebration of Whitey's life will be held at 2 P.M. on Saturday, November 01, 2014, at the St. John Lutheran Church in Russell, with Pastor Roger Dennis officiating. Cremation has preceded the service and burial of the cremains will follow at the St. John Lutheran Cemetery in Russell. Family will greet guests the day of the service. Memorials may be given to the Russell Youth Football Program. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.