NORLINA — John Kasper Kilian passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. He is with the Lord today.

John was predeceased by his parents, John George Kilian and Lillie Anna Kilian. He is survived by his loving wife, Ann Rackley Kilian of the home; son, Michael Kilian and wife Janelle of Norlina; son, Daryl Kilian and wife Gwen of Youngsville; granddaughters, Laura Kilian and Catherine Watts (h. Dylan) both of Raleigh; granddaughter, Hannah Kilian of Youngsville; grandson, John William Kilian of Norlina; and step-grandsons, Alek Parham, Noah Parham and Nathan Parham.

John graduated from Norlina High School in 1953. He was a Norlina Blue Devil football and baseball player and a good student. He did brief studies at N.C. State University for farming, and worked for Imperial Tobacco as a bookkeeper prior to pursuing his career passion of farming. He was the self-proclaimed cantaloupe king of Ridgeway, North Carolina, for many years. On the farm he also raised cattle, hay, soybeans, wheat, oats and other produce crops, and watermelons, tomatoes, corn, and honeydew melons. At a time when farms were going big or going broke, he was able to stay small and provide well for his family with hard work, ingenuity and God’s blessings.

He was also a wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather. He loved God, his country and his family. He faithfully attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Ridgeway, North Carolina, all his life. Here, he was an organist for over 50 years and served in other active roles too. John was a member of the Drewry Volunteer Fire Department. He also served in other civic and community roles as a soil and water supervisor with Warren County, and on the BB&T bank board. He held many leadership roles in local civic organizations, including being the president of the Ridgeway Community Club and local Warren County Farm Bureau president.

John enjoyed many years of watching his sons and grandchildren in sports, music and school activities. He enjoyed travel with his wife Ann, with many trips to the beach, mountains and Farm Bureau conventions. He enjoyed many happy days on Kerr Lake too with family and friends.

Pallbearers will be Dan Bender, Kent Daeke, Richard Holtzmann Jr., Craig Seaman, Justin Holtzman, Jacob Campbell, Mike Carroll, Morris Aycock, Willie Kilian, Rick Brauer and Calvin Seaman. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Drewry Volunteer Fire Department.

Service will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, with burial to follow in the church cemetery.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 114 Poplar Mount Road, Norlina, NC 27563.

The family will receive friends prior to the service on Saturday at the church from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Arrangements are by Blaylock Funeral Home, and online condolences may be made at

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