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John Lewis Kilbourne, 91, of Wellsboro passed away on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
John was born on Oct. 12, 1922, near Wellsboro, to the late John P. And Nora (Smith) Kilbourne of Stony Fork.
John graduated from Wellsboro Area High School in 1940. He completed three years at Millersville University before joining the United States Navy. John graduated from the Glenview Naval Air Station and the Naval Air Training Station in Pensacola, Fla. as a naval aviator. He flew missions in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, with many missions between Florida and Cuba.Postwar, John completed his B.S. degree in Industrial Arts and Math at Bloomsburg University, University of North Carolina and Millersville University.He taught Industrial Arts in the Sayre Area School District for seven years and the Wellsboro Area School District for 26 years.
John was married to Janet Dillman Kilbourne for 42 years and to Lillian Evans Kilbourne for 24 years.
John was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Roy; his sister, Rena and his first wife, Janet. John is survived by three children, Jim (Clara) Kilbourne of Sayre; Jane Kilbourne of Highland, Calif.; and Mary Jo Kilbourne of New Hampshire. He is also survived by his second wife, Lillian Kilbourne of Wellsboro; stepchildren Gerald (Norma) Mosso, Toni (Walt) Grabowski, Roxie (Scott) Smith; grandchildren, Jeffrey Kilbourne, Cody Jensen, Patrick Mosso, Jesse Mosso, Bleu Mosso, Jennifer Grabowski, Eric Grabowski, Betsy Gram, Michael Smith, Ryan Smith; 13 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.
John was very active in the Freemasonry Brotherhood. He was a member of Rural Amity Lodge #70 in Athens, before transferring to Ossea Lodge #317 in Wellsboro, where he served as a Past Master. In the York Rite, he served as a High Priest. John was a member of the Royale Arch Chapter #194, Past Thrice Illustrious Master of Coudersport Council No. 63, Past Commander of Potter Commandry #69 and received the honorary degree of Knight Cross of Honor at Keystone Priory #26 in Pittsburgh. He was Past Thrice Potent Master of the Lodge of Perfection in the ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and earned the 32nd degree freemason honor.
John was further recognized by receiving the 33rd degree Mason honor in Milwaukee, Wis. in 1990.
John was a member and former Associate Patron of Mary Wells Chapter #452, member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and member of the American Legion. John received a 45-year service award from the Wellsboro Fire Department, where he served as a long standing captain of old Engine #3. He drove ambulance for over 40 years, serving as president of the association. John was a member of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
John was an avid hunter and fisherman and frequently traveled to Montana and Quebec on hunting trips.
A viewing will be held at Tussey-Mosher Funeral Home, "A Life Celebration Home," 139 Main St., Wellsboro, from 6 until 8 p.m., on Saturday, May 31, followed by a Masonic service at 8 p.m. The funeral will take place at 2 p.m., on Sunday, June 1, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church corner of Pearl and Charles Streets, Wellsboro with the Rev. Canon Gregory Hinton presiding, with the burial immediately following at the West Branch Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in John's memory may be made to The Ossea Masonic Lodge, c/o Timothy McConnell, 3037 Princeton St., Wellsboro, Pa. 16901 or the Wellsboro Fire Department, P.O. Box 743, Wellsboro, PA 16901. To share your fondest memories of John, visit
Funeral Home
Tussey-Mosher Funeral Home, LTD.
139 Main Street
Wellsboro, PA 16901
(570) 724-4637
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Published in The Wellsboro Gazette from May 29 to June 9, 2014
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