JOHN KILBURG JR. John Arthur Kilburg Jr. passed away Dec. 29, 2012. He was born July 31, 1924, in Spokane, Wash., and raised in Seattle. He lived in Las Vegas for many years with his family, where he worked for EG&G and ran several of his own businesses. He was also heavily involved with the Foresters and Masons. After living in Dolan Springs, Ariz. for a bit, he finally settled in San Angelo, Texas, where he spent the remainder of his life. John took great honor in serving his country, first in the U.S. Army
and then the U.S. Army Air Force Unit, where he fought in both World War II
and Korean War
. He flew planes until the military realized he was wearing glasses thick as Coke bottles. He was then grounded, yet still had the opportunity to work on the planes. He once said the best moment of his entire life was the first time he flew a plane. He shared stories pertaining to his time in the military and he told them with passion, enthusiasm and at times, sadness. He spoke of the places he'd been, the people he met on his journeys, friends he had made and friends he had lost during the wars. John had a wicked sense of humor, sometimes dry as a bone and you either "got it" or were left scratching your head; he had a million jokes and a hearty laugh. He was a man who was in love with being married. After several marriages, he met his one true love, Alpha Smith. They were married for many years until she passed away several years ago and he was never able to fill the void in his heart. John was fond of surprising his nurses, doctors, receptionists, anyone who took care of him, with chocolates, specifically, boxes and boxes of See's candies. It was his way of thanking those who cared for his health. John had another love, his dog, Cheyenne, a 100-pound Golden Retriever who adored him, followed him everywhere and was his devoted companion to the end. As with all of us, there are many sides to a person. While John was as described, he was also irritable, bossy and downright cranky at times. He was a man who lived a long life and did the best he could, just as we all do. John is survived by his daughter, Mary Heiner, who spent much time with him, cared and loved him unconditionally; his sons, Jack and Douglas Kilburg; as well as Alpha's children, Ed and Ken Smith and Masey Duncan. He has five grandchildren, including, Vona Savini, who not only loved him as a grandfather, but as a friend who is honored to have shared the stories of his life which will be carried on to his future generations; five great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild. Not to be forgotten, is his long-term friend and caregiver, Diane Smith, who has always been there for him. He is being laid to rest at Central Texas State Veterans' Cemetery in Killeen, Texas.