William “Thad” Killingbeck of Hermiston, Oregon, was born on April 2, 1954 in La Grande, Oregon to parents, Clarence and E. Fern Killingbeck. He died on April 28, 2023 in Richland, Washington at the age of 69 years. Thad was raised and attended schools in La Grande, Oregon, graduating in the class of 1972. He was united in marriage to Lila Lindley on June 23, 1973 in La Grande, Oregon. Thad graduated with his Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University) in 1976. He earned his Master’s of Science in Education from EOU in 1982 and later his Administration certificate from Lewis and Clark College in 1999. Thad’s career in education began student teaching at Armand Larive under Carlisle Harrison, Richard Lowry and Os Halling in Hermiston, Oregon from 1976-1977. He then taught remedial math and science at Riverside Junior/Senior High in Boardman, Oregon from 1977-1980. From 1980-1999 he taught 7th grade science, math and art at Columbia Middle School in Irrigon as well as coaching many of the sports teams and serving as the athletic director from 1989-1999. Thad was also a football and baseball referee and baseball umpire during this time. He was a member of the administrative team for AC Houghton Elementary and Sam Boardman Elementary from 1999 through 2002. Thad was the Vice Principal at Sam Boardman Elementary from 2002-2004 and Principal at Windy River Elementary from 2004-2007. He was recognized in 2007 as the Boardman Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year.
Thad served on the Morrow County School District Board from 2008 through 2018. He volunteered as a Boardman Little League Coach, Boardman Babe Ruth Coach and the Morrow County Legion baseball coach.
Thad enjoyed hunting, fishing, pencil drawing, playing cards with his friends, bowling, camping, playing tennis, pickle ball, biking, going on nature walks, kayaking, golfing, archery and was a sports enthusiast.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years: Lila Killingbeck, Hermiston, OR; daughter: Kristie Shasteen (Ted), Hermiston, OR; sons: Kyle Killingbeck (Anne), Redmond, OR and Kory Killingbeck (Amber), Liberty Lake, WA; sister: Carolyn Gibbs, Redmond, OR; grandchildren: Justin, William, John, Nathaniel and David Shasteen, Lucas, Aaron, Luella and Leona Killingbeck
Thad was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Clareen Coblens.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. at New Hope Church, 1350 S. Hwy 395, Hermiston, Oregon.
Contributions in Thad’s memory may be made to the Morrow County Education Foundation c/o Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, OR 97838.
Please share memories of Thad with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.
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