John R. Killeen, 89, died Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at Presbyterian Manor of the Plains, Dodge City.
John Richard Killeen was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, the oldest son of Richard E. Killeen and Lena Yeats Killeen.
John Killeen descended from a long line of Irish livestock traders including his father, the principal sheep broker with the Swift and Henry Company at the Kansas City Stockyards, and his grandfather, Michael Killeen, who was the superintendent of the Union Stockyards in Chicago.
John started his career as a commission salesman representing farmers to the meat packing industry in Kansas City. He and his family moved to Dodge City, Kansas in 1965 to work as a cattle buyer for Hyplains Dressed Beef, but soon set out on his own as an independent cattleman in the burgeoning livestock industry of southwest Kansas. As taught by his father and grandfather, John understood that honesty is the foundation of a good deal. Those who worked with him in the cattle business knew that his word was backed by integrity.
John was devoted to his family, particularly his wife, Jane Anne Hughes. They met at the Kansas City stockyards in 1947 after he returned from serving in the Navy during the occupation of Japan. She was an Irish Catholic from a big loving family in Kansas City, Kansas. They married and raised five children, a son and four daughters, making homes in Kansas City and later Dodge City. After John’s retirement, they enjoyed traveling the world together for many years, until Jane passed away in 2000.
John was a devout Catholic. His faith was the core of his life. He attended grade school at St. Joseph’s Parish in Independence, Missouri and high school at De LaSalle Academy in Kansas City, Missouri (Class of 1944). He actively participated in the social events that bind a parish into a community and spent more than 20 years of his retirement volunteering in classrooms at Miller School. He showed no prejudice for others and invited people of other beliefs and cultures into his circle.
John enjoyed golf, traveling, attending Mass, visiting with friends and family, and a glass of Scotch every night while watching the evening news. He had a dry wit, which he used when the occasion required both humor and objectivity. He is remembered for his strength of character, compassion, and generosity for the less fortunate. He is an example to all who knew him on how to lead a good and full life.
John Killeen is survived by his brother (Father Thomas Killeen), his son (Timothy Killeen), three daughters (Janet Killeen, Patricia Vasquez Killeen, and Sara Jane Killeen), as well as ten grandchildren (Kisa Wheaton Davison, John Matthew Conrardy, Benjamin Conrardy, Jane Killeen Endacott, Erin Gertrude Killeen, Peter Killeen, Jesus Ruy Vasquez, Roland Vasquez, Liam Posovich, and Isabella Posovich, and six great-grandchildren (Ted Davison, Stella Davison, Ricky Davison, Joe Davison, Abigail Conrardy, and Claire Conrardy). He was preceded in death by his sister (Shirley Killeen in 2014) and his daughter (Kathleen Conrardy in 2014).
Vigil service followed by Knights of Columbus rosary will be at 7:00 pm Monday, July 11, 2016 both at Ziegler Funeral Chapel, Dodge City. Funeral Mass will be 10:00 am Tuesday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Fr. Wesley Schawe presiding. Entombment will be in Scroggins Mausoleum, Dodge City. Visitation will be Monday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at Ziegler Funeral Chapel.
The family suggests memorials to Catholic Relief Services in care of Ziegler Funeral Chapel, 1901 N. 14th Ave., Dodge City, Kansas 67801.