Bernard L. Killinger
Bernard L. Killinger, long-time resident of Hastings, devoted father, loving husband and blessed child of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ, was called home Friday, March 6 at Thornapple Manor. He was 92.
Bernie was born August 20th, 1927 in Shanagolden, WI, a small village near the town of Glidden. As a teenager, “listening to God’s call” as he termed it, he entered the seminary in Canton, Ohio at Brunnerdale Seminary High School. After a careful consideration of his life’s journey with family and friends he moved to Owosso, MI where he graduated from Owosso High School and married Maxine Gurden also from Owosso in February of 1951. For a time they stayed in Owosso during which their daughter Kathleen and son Timothy were born. In 1960, Bernie moved the family to Vermontville, where Bernie worked at Michigan Magnetics. Soon after, they moved to Algonquin Lake outside Hastings where sons Thomas and Buck were born. He retired from Michigan Magnetics in 1986, and later worked for J-Ad Graphics.
Bernie loved to write. In 1945, he wrote “The Bells of Brunnerdale”, an autobiography of sorts that detailed his journey to become a priest and his time at the seminary between 1940 and 1944. In 2012, the book was finally republished. Most recently, he wrote or co-wrote other family works such as “Sibling Reveries” and “Tales From Under the Texas Tree” - both telling bygone stories of family, lost to time…’Come, reminisce along with me. With you I’ll share my reverie. Let’s live again the distant past, those years that flitted by so fast.’
Throughout his life, Bernie dedicated himself to the church and since 1963 was a member of Saint Rose Catholic Church. But it was his time at Brunnerdale that stayed with him his whole life and helped develop the wonderful man we have all come to know and love. In the Foreword from “The Bells of Brunnerdale” he wrote;
“With love and gratitude, I dedicate this little book to my wife Maxine, who now lives with God. And to my children, Kathleen Marie, Timothy James, Thomas Joseph and Bernard Jr. who individually and collectively are ‘The Great Amen’ to my happy vocation.”
As a true renaissance man, Bernie loved playing the organ during mass, played the piano and the violin and taught himself to play the hammered dulcimer. During his retirement years he enjoyed painting, was a master at crocheting and knitted some spectacular afghans for family and friends.
Bernie was preceded in death by his wife Maxine (2007) and his son Thomas (2015).
He is survived by his sister, Mary Elizabeth Weeks of Tucson, AZ; brothers, Louis Kenneth of Midland, Tony of Midland, TX; daughter, Kathleen Shay of Hastings; sons, Timothy of Glen Allen, VA, Bernard (Buck) of Melfa, VA; seven grandchildren – Jeremy Flanigan of Sheridan; Jennifer Jockheck of Ionia; Jason Flanigan of Yorktown, VA; Ryan Shay of Hastings; Joshua Killinger of London-UK; Jordan Killinger of Ionia, Sara Vaicekauskus of Kalamazoo and 14 great-grandchildren.
Family will happily receive visitation for the public on Thursday, March 19, from 5-7 p.m. at Girrbach Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2020 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Hastings, with burial at Riverside Cemetery immediately following.
In parting and celebration of this man’s wonderful life, may it be said in Bernie’s voice through the ages; “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi, custodiat animam tuam in vitam eternum. Amen.”