LORDSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Richard J. “Kilmo” Kilbert, Sr., 80. On Friday, September 2, 2022, Richard passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Richard was born January 20, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the youngest son of Master Sergeant Joseph S. and Jean H. Dodson Kilbert.
As part of a military family, Richard spent a portion of his early school years in Sasebo, Japan and Regensburg, Germany. He recently attended a reunion of G.I. children who lived in Sasebo during the Allied Occupation. Richard attended Lordstown High School until his senior year then graduated from S.R. Butler High School in Huntsville, Alabama.
During his time at Lordstown High School he met the love of his life, MaryAnne (Lickwar). When Richard moved to Alabama their senior year the two stayed in touch by writing letters. They were married at St. Peter and Paul’s Church in Warren in 1962 and this past spring they celebrated their 60th anniversary.
Richard was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He continued his patriotism as a member of the American Legion and NRA supporter.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Richard joined the Warren City Fire Department. Richard loved his profession as a firefighter and did what he could to improve the department. He was instrumental in starting the paramedic program, from which he was certified and became one of the department’s first paramedics. Richard was also a member and instructor of the scuba diving rescue squad. In 1981 Richard sustained severe burns in a fire and spent a month in the Akron Burn Unit. He retired from the WFD in 1988 as a captain.
Richard enjoyed coaching and mentoring all five of his children in basketball at Lordstown High School and in college. Richard built a full-court basketball area in the yard that was enjoyed by family and friends. He enjoyed camping and hunting with his sons and their friends, who held a special place in his heart, Kenny Martin, Craig Barr and Brian Johnson. Richard also loved to scuba dive and took trips to Mexico and Bon Aire with sons, son-in-laws and beloved cousin, Steve Boyce. Richard enjoyed playing sports. He loved playing basketball, baseball, handball and was an excellent ping pong player. In his early days Richard was very involved with the Warren YMCA receiving an award for the top membership drive individual. Along with his sons, Richard participated in the Y Indian Guides, Kickapoo tribe. He played in the Warren City Basketball leagues well into adulthood and was affectionately known by friends and teammates as “BEAR”. He was also a big fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indians. In his later years Richard pursued horseshoes and golf. He became a student of golf, usually playing his favorite, Duck Creek. In 2013 Richard shot a hole-in-one at the Mahoning Country Club. Richard was also a member of the Mahoning Valley Coon Hunters Club. At their home in Lordstown, Richard loved fishing and swimming with friends and relatives in their pond. The Kilberts were known for wonderful summer picnics where Richard would roast lamb and pigs on the barbeque. He loved to shoot off fireworks to wow the grandkids.
Richard had five children that he loved deeply. He dedicated his time and energy to being a wonderful and hard-working father, doing all that he could for them. He leaves behind Kathleen J. (John) Woods, Richard J. (Teresa) Kilbert, Rebecca J. (Joseph) Battista, Mary Elizabeth Maras and Laurence M. (Melinda) Kilbert; his pride and joy, 14 grandchildren, Olivia and Victoria Woods, Kaylee, Richard “Jojo” and Anastasia Kilbert, Joelle (Paul) Risbeck, Lauren, Mia and Guiseppe Battista, Cameron and Natalie Maras, Taylor, Sierra and Laurence Kilbert and two great-grandchildren, Penelope and PJ Risbeck.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Laurence C. Kilbert and special four legged companions, Beauregard, Freckles and Buddy, his beloved Springer Spaniels. He had trained Freckles to retrieve a PBR from the cooler.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Valley for their kindness and help with Richard’s care, we are especially grateful to Shelley and Dennis, as well as, dear friend of the family, Dr. Richard Hart.
Family and friends may call from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, September 9 at the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel of Warren, 1884 North Road NE.
There will be a Liturgy of Christian burial at Saint Peter and Paul’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 180 Belvedere Avenue NE Warren, OH 44483, on Saturday, September 10 at 10:30 a.m.
Richard will be laid to rest at St. Peter and Paul cemetery in Lordstown, Ohio.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, September 7, at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.