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The world suddenly and unexpectedly lost an amazing person early Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Barbara M. Kilgannon was a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, Godmother and friend.
She was born on March 1, 1935 in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania to Bernadine and Stanley Budzinski. She truly was a “Coal Miner’s daughter. She spent her early childhood in Larksville PA. The family moved to Plymouth where she attended St. Mary’s church and graduated from Plymouth High School in 1953. She then worked at the Boston Store.
She married Edward G. Kilgannon, who had joined the Air Force shortly before the wedding, on June 2, 1956 and moved to Texas. After returning to Pennsylvania, they were transferred to Biloxi Mississippi where she saw first-hand the severity of segregation and racism, and then to Northern California. While in California she served as a room mother, was involved in the McClellan Elementary School PTA, was a leader of the Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls and worked part-time at the school. After a brief move back to Biloxi MS she moved back to Northern California where she became involved in an Affirmative action group, made candles and raised parakeets. She also loved visiting the National Parks, Bay Area and other historic sights.
She was an avid seamstress, having even made elaborate gowns, dance and parade costumes She also knitted and crocheted baby blankets for friends and clothing and elaborate dollies. She was also an incredible cook who loved to cook for her family and friends.
In 1976 her husband was transferred to Hill AFB in Utah. While here she became well known in the Democratic Party. She served as a delegate, precinct chair and polling judge. She and her husband Edd’s front yard was known for its campaign signs. She became an Avon representative and achieved “President’s Club” status for most of the 30 years she sold Avon. Through that she got to know most of her neighbors and made many friends. She bred canaries and finches and served on the board of the Aviculture Society of Utah. She was also a Wildlife Rehabilitator who took care of ill, injured and orphaned wildlife and took un-releasable birds to local schools to educate the children on respect of animals. She especially loved the Owls who also seemed to love her. She also learned to make Porcelain dolls, a life-long desire and earned many awards for her dolls. She went on to teach porcelain and ceramics classes for well over 30 years, first in Layton and then at the Clearfield and Kaysville senior centers. She was so looking forward to when the senior centers could allow classes again and she could go back to teaching ceramics and visiting with her friends. She had been saving sayings and jokes and other things to share with everyone once that was possible.
While she made many good friends in Utah and loved teaching ceramics, she did miss being close to family and did wish they had moved back east and hoped to at least be able to visit more often.
She was a very devoted wife, friend and mother and while she desperately wanted to have more than one child, that just was not to be. She did take care of other children and lavished attention on many of her nieces and nephews. I do regret that I never had any children. She would have been an incredible grandmother. She was the primary caregiver of her husband when his health declined just as she had been when I was fighting Breast Cancer, treatment related complications and other illnesses through my life.
Mom once said we all thought she was invincible and maybe we all, including she did. We and others often said she was the healthiest of us. While we did not want to lose dad we both realized that was likely in the next year or so. Nobody was ready for it to be her! It still does not feel real. There are so many things that she and I had planned to do this year that will not get done now. Covid prevented some of them last year and
She was predeceased by her maternal grandmother, who only spoke Polish, as well as her other grandparents, her parents, aunts, uncles, brother Anthony Budzinski, sister in law Joyce Budzinski, parents in law, brother in law Patrick Kilgannon, sister in law Katherine Kilgannon, some cousins, several close friends and beloved pets.
She was survived briefly by her husband of 64 years, Edward Kilgannon, who she had accompanied to the hospital after a fall. She is survived by her daughter Bonnie Kilgannon, her brother Gerald Budzinski, sister Jane (William) Cawley, sister in law Jean Budzinski, sister in law Jackie Kilgannon, brother in law Michael (Elaine) Kilgannon, goddaughter Georgette Holena, goddaughter and niece Patricia (Sean) O’Connell, nieces and nephews, Anthony (Jodi) Budzinski, Robert (Lynn) Budzinski, Barbara Cawley Christenson, William (Becky) Cawley, Patricia (Michael) Jones, Michael (Tammy) Cawley, Nicole ,Michael Jr., Justin, Nolan, great nieces and nephews, including Kate Jones and Nathan Jones, cousins, and several friends
Due to current circumstances no viewing will be held. Friends will be given an opportunity to gather and celebrate her life and service to community and share their stories at a later date.
A Vigil was held on Thursday March 18, 2021 and funeral held on Friday March 19, 2021 at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Funeral can be viewed under recorded masses at Stroseoflimacatholic.net . It was Barbara’s desire that in lieu of flowers, those who wish make a donation to the Utah Food Bank, St Jude’s Hospital or The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa or do something nice for someone in the community. Interment will be held on the east coast at a later date.
Condolences and memories may be sent to PO box 2142 Layton Ut 84041.
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