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Aug. 17, 1916 – May 7, 2014

A memorial Mass celebrating the life of Raymond W. Killian will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Stephen Catholic Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island.

Mr. Killian, retired president of Kittinger Furniture Co., died May 7 in Bradenton, Fla. He was 97.

Born on Grand Island during the days before electricity, telephone and bridges, he attended one-room schools starting at age 4 and graduated at 16 from Tonawanda High School in 1933.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1949 as master sergeant for the Army Corps of Engineers Officer Candidate School in Fort Belvoir, Va., and in Europe for the combat engineers in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and France and building bridges over the Elbe and Rhine rivers in Germany.

After the war, he studied business and accounting at Canisius College while working in the Kittinger’s factory. He graduated from college in 1952, 19 years after high school graduation.

At Kittinger, Mr. Killian held several positions, including accountant, comptroller and vice president of finance. In 1968, he became president of the company, retiring in 1975.

He and his wife were both active members of St. Stephen’s Church and members of several Western New York dancing clubs.

They retired to Sun City West, Ariz., in 1979. After the death of his wife, Beatrice Killina, in 2007, he returned to live with family in Kenmore.

Survivors include three sons, Daniel, Gerald and Joseph; three daughters, Patricia Meyers, Maureen Swaney and Elizabeth Prange; 16 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.