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March 18, 2010 3:22 am

John Francis Kylander

Written by Tribune Staff

(April 13, 1922 - March 3, 2010)

On Good Friday, April 13, 1922, John Francis Kylander was born in Powell, the eighth child of Lula Elizabeth (Watts) and Arthur E. Kylander. The seven previous brothers and sisters greeted their baby brother and played an important role in raising him.

In his later teens, at the height of the Depression, John joined the CCC Camp located in eastern Yellowstone. While at the camp helping to support his family, he cleared trees and helped build roads.

In 1943, he entered the Navy and received diesel engineering training in Ames, Iowa, before being stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he repaired war-damaged submarines and chase boats, keeping them serviceable through WWII. Upon discharge from the Navy, he returned to Powell and worked in a service station.

Across the street, there was a small café where coffee breaks were taken, and one day he met Margaret Ann Kells, who had recently moved to Powell from Russell, Iowa, and was the new first-grade teacher in town.

John and Ann were married in Billings on April 20, 1946. On Dec. 11, 1948, their son, Jed A. Kylander, was born in Powell.

In 1950, the Kylander family moved to Cheyenne where John began his career as a switchman/brakeman with the Union Pacific Railroad. On Nov. 13, 1952, their daughter, Sue A. Kylander, was born.

John retired in 1983, after 33 years of service with Union Pacific. After retirement John and Ann were able to travel a great deal to warmer climates in the winter, but they still maintained a home in Cheyenne, and they returned there for the summer months.

They were members of Cheyenne's First Baptist Church for nearly 50 years. John was also instrumental in forming Cheyenne's Antique Tractor Club, and he enjoyed restoring antique engines and tractors and taking part in special exhibitions and Christmas parades. He also enjoyed finding broken-down bicycles, restoring them to new condition and giving them away to children who didn't have bikes.

In Jan. 2010, John and Ann moved to Kremmling, Colo., to live with their daughter, Sue. John passed away on March 3, 2010, at age 87, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Ann; his son Jed A. Kylander and his wife Rosemary of Cheyenne; his daughter Sue A. Kylander Pratt and her husband Dennis of Kremmling, Colo. He is also survived by three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; one sister, Bernita Moody of Lovell; and many nieces and nephews.

Friends and family are welcome to contact Ann Kylander at P.O. Box 1361, Kremmling, CO, 80459. If you would like to make a donation in John's memory, please make it to Heart of the Mountains Hospice, P.O. Box 140, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO, 80451.