September 21, 1923 - February 17, 2021
John Robert Kilsheimer passed away peacefully Wednesday, February 17, 2021. He was 97 years old. He was the son of James and Florence Kilsheimer, and brother to Charlotte, Ruth, and James who preceded him in death and is survived by his younger brother, Joseph. He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth Carraher (Betty) Kilsheimer who preceded him in death in 2008. He was the devoted father of six daughters, Joan, Jeannie, Kathy, Mary, Betsy, and Jackie and appreciative father-in-law to James, Michael, Joe, Brian, and Kevin. He took great joy with his eleven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren and was a favorite uncle to eleven nieces and nephews. His love and concern for children extended to his six international child sponsorships.
John and Betty married shortly after his Navy discharge at the end of WW II where he had served as an officer on a LST ship during the invasion of Leyte. John was part of the naval ROTC while attending the College of the Holy Cross as an undergraduate. With the assistance of the G. I. Bill, John returned to school after WW II to earn his masters at Fordham University and later his Ph.D. at Syracuse University in organic chemistry. John enjoyed immensely his career in agricultural chemistry while he worked at Union Carbide (West Virginia), Mobil Oil (New Jersey), Esso (New Jersey) and his last position as a Senior Vice President at the Scotts Company (Ohio) where he oversaw the growth and development of a new research facility.
John retired in 1982 and he and Betty moved to New Smyrna Beach, Florida and worked together as real estate agents. In his eighties, John published his first book, “How The Navy and I Survived Each Other During WW II”, and went on to write three more books including “Bedtime Stories by Chase” for children, and a biography of his wife, Betty, called “One Chance in a Lifetime.” John was a loyal fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and he attended football and basketball games with Betty. He loved the beach and his favorite pastime was fishing, especially within the last twenty years from the pier at his home in Hacienda del Rio.
The Catholic Church and volunteer work were a vital part of John’s life. With the St. Vincent DePaul Society he served by counseling prisoners (Ohio) and aiding people in need through the Human Services Ministry (Florida). John also served as a Eucharistic minister and brought communion to shut-ins and the sick. Even during COVID-19, Church was an important part of his daily life. When he was no longer able to attend daily Mass in person, he watched the daily Mass on television. His devotion and faith were exemplified in that one of the last things John said to one of his daughters was “Just remember, God loves everybody.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, New Smyrna Beach. Burial will follow in the Veterans Field of Honor at Sea Pines Memorial Gardens, Edgewater with military honors conducted by American Legion Post #285, Edgewater. Memorial donations may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic School, 1003 Turnbull Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 or to CCTN (Catholic Community Television Network) 5125 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando, FL 32819.
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