Larry Dean Kilian passed away July 31, 2022, at 85 years of age at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas.
Larry was born February 21, 1937, in Ellsworth, Kansas. Larry competed in shot put in Junior High track and field and was on the 440 relay team, posting a new school record with a 51.4 run. He also played varsity football all 4 years of high school, played men’s basketball, and ran track. In 1955 he was part of the Russell Broncos Men’s Basketball team State Class A Champions. Larry met Donna Lee Franklin at a band trip to the fair in Salina, Kansas, and started dating at age 15. This relationship continued until he was united in marriage to Donna on July 31, 1960. Their first year of marriage they moved from Russell to Hoxie, Kansas, where Donna taught second grade and Larry taught grades 5-8 at a nearby little town—Studley, Kansas.
Larry and Donna moved back to Russell in 1963 where he began farming with his father. They farmed wheat and milo and raised Angus cattle. Harvest time was his favorite time because family all pitched in and worked it. Donna made lunch at the house for all the workers and prepared sandwiches for them to eat later for dinner. Dad took his 30-minute power nap after lunch before going back out in the field.
In June 2006, Larry and Donna decided to retire from their farm life in Russell after 45 years. Larry and Donna chose to make a move to Eudora, Kansas, to be close to family. They enjoyed going to auctions/estate sales, traveling with family and friends, and attending their grandsons’ basketball and baseball games. As a pastime Larry took up stained glass, which, for a “farm boy from a small town in Kansas,” he was very talented He also enjoyed refinishing furniture. He displayed these beautiful creations in his booth at the D. Palma and Co. Mercantile antique mall in Russell and gave them as gifts to friends and family.
Larry was preceded in death by his father and mother, Johnny Kilian and Alvina Lucille (Krug) Kilian; and his wife. He is survived by one daughter, Karla Jean (Doug) Krause of DeSoto, Kansas; one son, Stuart John (JoAnn) Kilian of Gorham, Kansas; and three grandsons, Travis (Staci) Krause of Wichita, Kansas; Trent Krause (Kaytlyn Green) of Lenexa, Kansas; and Cameron Kilian of Gorham, KS; brother Gary Kilian (Diane) of Russell, Kansas, sisters Judy Holmes of Russell, Kansas and Cindy Gilveli (Greg) of Arizona City, Arizona.
The family extends their heart-felt thanks to the many friends who visited, phoned, and sent cards during the past months. They also extend their gratitude to the nurses and physicians at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Precision Cancer Center, and the Douglas County Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care. Larry will truly be missed by the many people whose hearts he touched.
A graveside memorial service to celebrate Larry’s life will be held at 10 A.M. on Saturday, August 20, 2022, at the Russell City Cemetery in Russell, Kansas. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Friday, August 19, 2022, at the mortuary with family greeting guests from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. Friday evening. Cremation has been selected by the family. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas is in charge of the funeral services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lawrence Humane Society at 1805 E. 19th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046 or online at lawrencehumane.org.