Don Randall Killian ’60

Don Randall Killian, Sr. passed away November 4, 2023, at Tore’s home in East Flat Rock, NC.  He was born in the Riverbend Community of Mt Holly, NC on March 22, 1938, to the late Fred Killian and Pauline Killian.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Helen J Killian.  He is survived by his son, Don Jr. (Karolyn) of Hendersonville, NC, and daughter Cynthia (Brett) of Hoschton, GA.  Don was blessed with three granddaughters: Kayla Hirsch (Derek), Jenna Carter, and Sara Jane Killian, and precious twin great-granddaughters, Sunny Rae, and Delaney Ann Hirsch.

Don was an avid sports lover.  He played football, basketball, and baseball all through school.  During high school, he spent his summer months playing baseball (shortstop) for the American Legion (Post 123).  After graduating high school Don attended Davidson College and continued his baseball career while attaining his BA degree.  He continued his education at Appalachian State University (Master’s Degree), the University of Colorado, and the University of Georgia where he worked toward his doctorate.

Don’s career in education began at Ranlo Elementary.  Several years later, he moved to Mt Holly School where he also coached the basketball team and served as the assistant football coach.  When Gaston College opened in Dallas, NC, he went to his teaching home where he taught Sociology and Marriage and Family until his retirement 49 years later.  Retirement did not douse his love of teaching as Don continued to teach part-time at several local colleges and universities:  Gaston College-Lincoln Campus, Belmont Abbey College, and Gardner Webb University.  During this time, he also co-authored multiple articles and books with his close friend, Joseph Hester.

Don was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mt Holly, NC where he served as Council President and a part of the Shepherd’s Group and Beautification Committee.  Playing the mandolin (post-retirement hobby) with “The B Naturals” was joyful for Don.  The group entertained at worship services, nursing homes, and local spring festivals.

A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Don and Helen’s honor on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 1:00 PM followed by a reception in the dining hall until 3:00 PM.  Memorials may be made to the church in lieu of flowers.