OBITUARY

Michael James Kilmer

October 5, 1947September 24, 2019

Dad's Obituary: written 10/5/2019

Mike Kilmer, the Man the Myth the Legend, was an amazing Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Son, Uncle & Friend. As he often said, he had done more than most in his nearly 72 years and having a great marriage to his beloved Terri, and raising his girls, Carol Paxton (Will, husband) and Yonette Fine (Kenn, husband) and being part of the lives of his seven grandchildren (named below) was the best part of it all.

After a year of in-home hospice, with top notch in-home care in his final month, Mike passed September 24, 2019 swift, happy and in control. He has joined his wife Terri and family & friends that went before him, and is breathing free and easy now. By all accounts he accomplished his true desire…”to leave out the front door”.

Writing the obituary for someone like Mike Kilmer is a daunting task. So I will choose a streamlined version based on the facts and verbal history handed down. Hopefully the following will suffice.

Mike was born to Elizabeth Jean Kilmer (Drum) and Lawrence Harold Kilmer on October 5, 1947 in Binghamton, NY. He had so many fond memories of his boyhood on the farm making mischief with his brothers, Larry, David, Kevin & his cousins. Younger brothers Steve & Edward later joined the Kilmer family.

In the late 1950’s, the Kilmer crew moved to San Jose, CA where Mike’s father furthered his career with IBM. Mike was a natural athlete, small but quick and strong, and excelled in track & field and football in high school, going all the way to the State Championships in track & field.

Along the way, a 14yr old Mike and his older brother Larry got into rock climbing in the early 1960s in Yosemite. He climbed to great heights and was one of the early climbers to ascend El Capitan, naming some of the climbs we know today. Mike and his buddies Jim Bridwell & Yvon Chouinard made rock climbing history. Below is an excerpt found at mountainproject.com, where Mike has to “set the record straight” on a climb he and Jim did together:

“A little tidbit for you all. When you climb this realize that the original first accent was done "BOLT FREE". Knife blades and Rurps ect., which had just been manufactured were used. Free climbing where ever possible as, after clearing each setting, the pitons fell out behind the first climber (Mike Kilmer). The second climber used a few, and reset others and had to handwalk the remaining portion of the climb, that being Jim Bridwell, from above belay. The cracks disenigrated. The naming of "The Trial" was contrived because, the death verdict was eminent if a fall was to take place, for lack of any protection from the belay down below. Seems as tho it has hence become a bolt ridden route.”

Mike’s rock climbing career ended with a call from the US Government and he was sent off to join the Army in 1968. While you rarely heard Mike sharing war stories from Vietnam, there was the occasional tale of mischief that he and his beloved cousin, Tom Montanya (NY), found themselves entangled in, when in reality, he was a solid soldier earning the highest honors, including, but not limited to, a Purple Heart.

Shortly after his tour of duty, ending in 1970, he met (1973) and married (1975) the amazing Terri Lee Kilmer (born Maggie Primus) in Palo Alto, CA. As Terri put it, “he picked me up from the airport after my trip to Europe and somehow, I never went back to my house.” They were life long mates, along with their daughters, Carol & Yonette, and were bound together until her passing in 2017. As he says, “that was a good ride, and I think we did a pretty good job in being married and raising you girls.”

Spending 47 years in California, primarily in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Union City, Fremont, and Newark living life to it's fullest, he and Terri bravely moved to Portland, OR to be in “spoiling range” of 3 of their grandchildren, Maya (20), Kai (17) & Teo (13) and daughter Yonette Fine (Kenn, husband). Mike & Terri spent 4 years in Beaverton and were surrounded by family, including visits from the “Texas branch” of the family, daughter Carol Paxton (Will, husband), Kenneth Gross (30), Twins-Joe & Michael Szymanski (Lizzie,wife) (23), and Tiana Szymanski (20). In addition, Mike & Terri managed to make many new friends spending weekends eating, drinking and celebrating life, on a regular basis. They were well loved by all!

Mike wrote this in 2017 for Terri’s obit and it certainly applies to him as well:

“No matter the challenges faced over the last years much happiness, and great quality of life were achieved. There is not a doubt amongst those close to Terri that a better quality of life and peace without pain, as well as happiness is where Terri now resides, and meeting up with those who passed previous to her has happened as she now awaits, where over time those remaining, left behind, can meet up again.”

The world was truly a better, and much more organized place, for having had Mike as a citizen for the last 72 years. We love you and will miss you so very much Mike, Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle , Brother in law, friend. Go and prosper in your new environment.

As the day of this post happens to be October 5, 2019, Mike’s 72nd birthday, please think of him happily scaling a mountain, fishing in his blue boat on the Delta, playing golf with his closest friends or kicking back and working on his fantasy football draft with multiple games streaming on his TV’s and his lady love near by. That’s the good life for our dear Mike Kilmer!

No matter where you are or where you are going ...Mike would want you to "Take it Lite!"

Shindig in Honor of Mike Kilmer will be held Oct 20th, 2019 from 12pm-3pm at Cerulean Winery, 1439 NW Marshall St, Portland OR.

Please visit the guestbook portion of this site and enter a special memory or message. Thank you.

Services

20 October

Celebraton of Life

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Cerulean

1439 NW Marshall Street
Portland, OR 97209

Memories

Michael James Kilmer

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Alyssa Ramirez

October 5, 2019

Two nights before Christmas 2018 we shared a meal and it was one of the first times him and I hung out just the two of us. He shared stories that I had never heard before and was so happy as we sat and chatted about life. As the evening came to an end he walked me out, stood in the doorway with his glass of red wine, and said out loud, “this was a really great night”. He had the biggest smile. I looked back, told him I loved him and was on my way. He was such a great uncle. He showed my husband, jase, and I all around town when we moved to Beaverton, Oregon. He always said, “you’re my niece, I have to take care of you”. We are going to miss him dearly, but we know that he is smiling wherever he is. Happy Birthday Uncle Mike.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Dad's Obituary; written 10/5/2019

Mike Kilmer, the Man the Myth the Legend, was an amazing Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Son, Uncle & Friend. As he often said, he had done more than most in his nearly 72 years and having a great marriage to his beloved Terri, and raising his girls, Carol Paxton (Will, husband) and Yonette Fine (Kenn, husband) and being part of the lives of his seven grandchildren (named below) was the best part of it all.

After a year of in-home hospice, with top notch in-home care in his final month, Mike passed September 24, 2019 swift, happy and in control. He has joined his wife Terri and family & friends that went before him, and is breathing free and easy now.
By all accounts he accomplished his true desire…”to leave out the front door”.

Writing the obituary for someone like Mike Kilmer is a daunting task. So I will choose a streamlined version based on the facts and verbal history handed down. Hopefully the following will suffice.

Mike was born to Elizabeth Jean Kilmer (Drum) and Lawrence Harold Kilmer on October 5, 1947 in Binghamton, NY. He had so many fond memories of his boyhood on the farm making mischief with his brothers, Larry, David, Kevin & his cousins. Younger brothers Steve & Edward later joined the Kilmer family.

In the late 1950’s, the Kilmer crew moved to San Jose, CA where Mike’s father furthered his career with IBM. Mike was a natural athlete, small but quick and strong, and excelled in track & field and football in high school, going all the way to the State Championships in track & field.

Along the way, a 14yr old Mike and his older brother Larry got into rock climbing in the early 1960s in Yosemite. He climbed to great heights and was one of the early climbers to ascend El Capitan, naming some of the climbs we know today. Mike and his buddies Jim Bridwell & Yvon Chouinard made rock climbing history. Below is an excerpt found at mountainproject.com, where Mike has to “set the record straight” on a climb he and Jim did together:

“A little tidbit for you all. When you climb this realize that the original first accent was done "BOLT FREE". Knife blades and Rurps ect., which had just been manufactured were used. Free climbing where ever possible as, after clearing each setting, the pitons fell out behind the first climber (Mike Kilmer). The second climber used a few, and reset others and had to handwalk the remaining portion of the climb, that being Jim Bridwell, from above belay. The cracks disenigrated. The naming of "The Trial" was contrived because, the death verdict was eminent if a fall was to take place, for lack of any protection from the belay down below. Seems as tho it has hence become a bolt ridden route.”

Mike’s rock climbing career ended with a call from the US Government and he was sent off to join the Army in 1968. While you rarely heard Mike sharing war stories from Vietnam, there was the occasional tale of mischief that he and his beloved cousin, Tom Montanya (NY), found themselves entangled in, when in reality, he was a solid soldier earning the highest honors, including, but not limited to, a Purple Heart.

Shortly after his tour of duty, ending in 1970, he met (1973) and married (1975) the amazing Terri Lee Kilmer (born Maggie Primus) in Palo Alto, CA. As Terri put it, “he picked me up from the airport after my trip to Europe and somehow, I never went back to my house.”
They were life long mates, along with their daughters, Carol & Yonette, and were bound together until her passing in 2017. As he says, “that was a good ride, and I think we did a pretty good job in being married and raising you girls.”

Spending 47 years in California, primarily in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Union City, Fremont, and Newark living life to it's fullest, he and Terri bravely moved to Portland, OR to be in “spoiling range” of 3 of their grandchildren, Maya (20), Kai (17) & Teo (13) and daughter Yonette Fine (Kenn, husband). Mike & Terri spent 4 years in Beaverton and were surrounded by family, including visits from the “Texas branch” of the family, daughter Carol Paxton (Will, husband), Kenneth Gross (30), Twins-Joe & Michael Szymanski (Lizzie,wife) (23), and Tiana Szymanski (20). In addition, Mike & Terri managed to make many new friends spending weekends eating, drinking and celebrating life, on a regular basis. They were well loved by all!

Mike wrote this in 2017 for Terri’s obit and it certainly applies to him as well:

“No matter the challenges faced over the last years much happiness, and great quality of life were achieved. There is not a doubt amongst those close to Terri that a better quality of life and peace without pain, as well as happiness is where Terri now resides, and meeting up with those who passed previous to her has happened as she now awaits, where over time those remaining, left behind, can meet up again.”

The world was truly a better, and much more organized place, for having had Mike as a citizen for the last 72 years. We love you and will miss you so very much Mike, Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle , Brother in law, friend. Go and prosper in your new environment.

As the day of this post happens to be October 5, 2019, Mike’s 72nd birthday, please think of him happily scaling a mountain, fishing in his blue boat on the Delta, playing golf with his closest friends or kicking back and working on his fantasy football draft with multiple games streaming on his TV’s and his lady love near by.
That’s the good life for our dear Mike Kilmer!

No matter where you are or where you are going ...Mike would want you to
"Take it Lite!"

Shindig in Honor of Mike Kilmer will be held Oct 20th, 2019 from 12pm-3pm at Cerulean Winery, 1439 NW Marshall St, Portland OR.

Please visit the guestbook portion of this site and enter a special memory or message. Thank you.