John Mark Killen, PhD, son of Mark and Clara Killen of De Graff, Minn., died on July 28, 2013 at the age of 91 in Olmito, Texas at Sunshine Haven Hospice.

Dr. Killen graduated with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and joined the Navy in 1944. He served in the US Navy during World War II. His career at the University of MN spanned more than 43 years. After his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he returned to Minnesota and was employed in the Neurophysiology Department at the University of MN and joined the faculty of the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory where he remained until his retirement in 1990. John was possibly the last of the faculty hired by Lorenz Straub, founder of the SAF Laboratory. He completed his Master's and PhD degrees at the University of Minnesota in Civil Engineering. During 1976-78 he took leave and spent two years as a guest professor at University of Karlsruhe, Germany in polymer chemistry research sponsored by the Deutche Forschungs Gemeinshaft. In 1990 the United Nations sent John to Poona, India to the Kawashlakar Research Laboratory.

He married Mary Barbara Seckinger in 1949 and they raised their five children Claire Marie Kari, Mark Albert Killen, Kathleen Ann Klukas, Patricia Eileen Rynearson and Margaret Mary Killen at their home in South Minneapolis. They have 10 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. After retirement in 1990 he and his wife spent their winters in Arizona and Texas, settling in Texas during John's last years.

He will be buried in Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis after a Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Minneapolis. Dr. Wm Hunt in speaking of John said "Those of us who have known John, the brilliant scholar, the incisive thinker, the man with wry humor, and the devoted husband and father, can't help but believe that such a noble spirit will live on. The God who called John into being will sustain him through the mystery of death". In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sunshine Haven, 7105 W. Lakeside, Olmito, Texas 78575 (956) 350-8400, or

Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Guerra Funeral Home of Brownsville, 3955 Jaime J. Zapata Ave. (956) 544-1171.

Funeral Home

Guerra Funeral Home
3955 Coffeeport Rd Brownsville, TX 78521
(956) 544-1171

Published in Brownsville Herald on July 31, 2013