|Birth: ||Feb. 2, 1911|
|Death: ||Jul. 25, 1994|
James Killilea died at the age of 83 in Stamford CT. He was the husband of Marie Lyons whom he married on July 25, 1933. Together they had five children: Marie, Kathryn Ann(who died at birth),Karen, James O'Rourke(Rory) and Kristin Rose. They also adopted Gloria when she was a teenager.
In 1940,their infant daughter Karen was born with Cerebral Palsy. Jimmy and his wife Marie saw 23 medical specialists all over the U.S. and Canada. Every doctor told the Killileas that Karen's case was hopeless because they felt that she had no intellect and would never be able to communicate with them. The 24th doctor recognized Karen's intelligence and her awareness.He started her on a program of physical therapy and home teaching which was unheard of at that time.
Both Jimmy and Marie became very active in lobbying for the rights of people born with Cerebral Palsy. They formed the Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Westchester and the Karen Foundation. Marie later cofounded the National Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
In 1952, his wife Marie wrote a bestselling book entitled "Karen" about their daughter's struggles and triumph over Cerebral Palsy. In 1963, she wrote a sequal "With Love From Karen" which was also a bestseller.
For many years, Jimmy worked as a Personnel Director for the New York Telephone Company.
Jimmy was a kind,gentle man who was always there for his family. He was greatly loved by everyone.
In 1994, he was survived by his children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was preceeded in death by his wife Marie, his daughter Kathryn Ann and his granddaughters, Mary and Evelyn Lea (Gloria's daughters) and Michelle Smiley(little Marie's daughter) all of whom died in a fire.
(1) The picture is of the house known as " Sursum Corda" (Lift Up Your Hearts) where the Killilea family lived in Larchmont.
(2) The other pictures are a group shot of the Killilea family and of Jimmy's daughter Karen.
Thank you to the Killilea Fans Yahoo group for their help.
Marie Lyons Killilea (1913 - 1991)*
Gloria Kyle Killilea Lea (1929 - 2001)*
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Maspeth
Record added: Sep 21, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21698596