Wilbert W. Killion, 87 of Terre Haute, formerly of Brazil, died Saturday, May 2, 2009 at Cobblestone Crossing.
He had resided at Sycamore Manor Retirement Community until recently. He was born Dec. 17, 1921 in Clay County, the son of Charles Killion and Sadie Evans Killion.
He graduated from Brazil High School, Class of 1940. On Jan. 31, 1942 he married Mary Jane Megenhardt of Center Point. They were married for 61 years before she passed away in 2003.
Wilbert followed in the foot steps of his father and grandfather and began his career in the coal industry at the Bradway Coal Company, Local Union 934 in September of 1941, working until entry in the U.S. Army in 1942. He served in the European Theater, was discharged in 1945 and began working at G&F Corporation, for Leo Girton and was a member of Local Union 6822, District 8 in the United Mine Workers Association. This began his long history with the UMWA serving in many capacities. He held positions in the local union offices and District 8 1948-1968. He also held the distinction of being elected in 1956 to the International Executive Board, UMWA, representing District 8 during the time of John L. Lewis was the International President. In 1972, Districts 8 & 11 were consolidated and Wilbert retained his elected position with the UMWA as a board member. During the time as a member of the International Executive Board, he served on many commissions representing the International Union in the various Districts of the UMWA in the United States and Canada. He served on the negotiating team during contract talks with the Coal Operators Associating many times. In March of 1980, he was appointed Vice President of the United Mine Workers Association of America. While in this position, he negotiated the coal contracts in the Western United States and involved in the contract negotiations and the Organizing and Safety Division in the Union. He chose not to run for re-election and retired in December of 1982.
He was a member of the American Legion Post #2 and VFW #1127 in Brazil, F&AM Lodge 264 in Brazil and Scottish Rite, Valley of Terre Haute.
Survivors include his two sisters in laws, Peggy Latham and Dortha Urbain, both of Brazil; one brother in law, Bill Megenhardt of Center Point; one step-brother Harold Deirdorf and wife Rosemary of Ohio; several nieces and nephews whom he loved as his own.
Services will be Wednesday at 10 am at French Funeral Home in Brazil.
Burial will follow at Union Cemetery in Brazil.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 4-8 with Masonic Services at 7 pm. Military graveside rites will be provided by American Legion Post #2 and VFW #1127.
Light a candle in his memory at www.frenchfuneralhome.com