John K. Killian, who held several vocational education posts in Anne Arundel County, died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Glen Burnie. He was 61.
Mr. Killian had worked for the state Department of Education from 1985 until last fall as director of the Adult External High School Diploma program, which grants diplomas based on experience and other factors.
He retired from the Anne Arundel school system in 1984 as administrator of the Center of Applied Technology North in Glen Burnie.
He went to work for the Glen Burnie vocational school in 1980, and while there he began a program of building houses at the school and then delivering them to a home site. He oversaw the construction of the first three houses in the program, which still operates at the school.
In 1977, Mr. Killian opened the South River Vocational Technical Center in Edgewater, now the Center of Applied Technology South, serving as administrator and acting principal. He had developed the school's program while he was administrator of the Annapolis Vocational-Technical High School. He took that job in 1972.
He began teaching carpentry in the Anne Arundel school system in 1959, and, except for a short period when he taught in Howard County, held teaching, counseling and administrative posts in Anne Arundel County.
Born in Fairmont, W.Va., Mr. Killian was a graduate of the Fairmont State College and earned a master's degree in education from the University of Maryland. He was a member of the Phi Delta Kappa and Epsilon Pi Tau honorary educational fraternities.
He served in the Army from 1956 until 1958.
He was a member of the Glen Burnie Lodge of the Elks, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Anne Arundel County Retired Teachers Association.
He liked fishing, camping, cooking, writing poetry and doing carpentry.
Services for Mr. Killian were to be held at 10 a.m. today at Barranco & Sons Funeral Home, Ritchie Highway and Robinson Road, Severna Park.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, the former Twila D. Fretwell; a daughter, Dawn Elaine Jones of Odenton; a twin sister, Nancy Killian of Fairmont; and two granddaughters.
Memorial donations may be made to the John K. Killian Memorial Scholarship Fund for outstanding vocational-technical students in the county, P.O. Box 144, Millersville 21108-0144.