July 14, 2024

Sharing Sad News in the Passing of Senior Lecturer Michael Killian

The following message is from the Office of the Provost:

UMW Faculty, Staff and Students,

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences Michael “Mike” Killian. He died on May 22, 2024, after a courageous battle with brain cancer as family and friends were by his side. His family has shared information with campus and through the obituary now published online.

Mike finished his teaching career at the University of Mary Washington as a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences. He previously taught biology and chemistry at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania County. He also worked for the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service and earned a master’s degree in entomology from NC State University. In addition, he attended UNC-Chapel Hill and served in the U.S. Army.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Joella Killian, professor emerita of biology, who retired from UMW after 34 dedicated years. The two traveled the world together, exploring nature. Mike’s family notes that he is a plant person at heart, who loved to fish or play in any river stream, swamp, or marsh. As noted in his obituary, Mike believed that musical theater was the highest art form and regularly attended productions at UMW and the Riverside Dinner Theater.

Those wishing to send condolences may make a contribution in memory of Mike Killian to the Killian Theatre Scholarship (giving.umw.edu or UMW Advancement Services at (540) 654-1024), or the charity of your choice. The campus community is also invited to join a Celebration of Life, which will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 22nd, at the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericksburg, 25 Chalice Circle, Fredericksburg.

Students seeking resources may access TimelyCare, an online service accessed via a web browser or app or find additional resources from the Talley Center. Go to timelycare.com/umw to access the service using single sign-on (you’ll access it with your UMW NetID – just using umw.edu at the end). For faculty and staff, information about the Employee Assistance Program, which is available at no cost with state employee health insurance plans, may be accessed through the Human Resources website.

We extend our sympathies to the Killian family.

Timothy M. O’Donnell
University of Mary Washington