Frank Kilwein


Frank Kilwein, 90, New England, passed away Saturday, October 10, 2020 at the West River Regional Health Center, Hettinger. There will be a private Mass of Christian Burial for Frank at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, New England, with Fr. Gary Benz as the celebrant. Inurnment will take place at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.

Frank was born September 20, 1930, to John and Magdeline (Braun) Kilwein in Dickinson. He grew up on a farm outside of New England, attending school until the eighth grade. At age 13, he began driving semi and drove across the country. He spent time working as a mechanic and at a sugar beet factory in Calif. and Mont., before joining the Marines Motor Pool in 1951. Frank then drove military semis along the West Coast while stationed in Ocean Side, Calif. until 1953.

Frank met Vivian Rodrigues while working and living with his sister and brother-in-law in Calif. They married in Oakland on November 14, 1954 and soon after moved to New England and had two children, Steve and Francine. He built their home in New England from scratch and later purchased a farm west of New England and farmed the North Dakota land for over 75 years. Frank also worked as a mechanic for Walch Equipment, Schmidt Equipment and Tri County. He played an active role in the community as a fireman, an ambulance driver, a city council member for 20 years, and was a member of the American Legion, Elks, Eagles, and KC Club.

In his spare time, Frank enjoyed bowling, golfing, and pinochle. He was a talented mechanic and handyman who always jumped at the opportunity to help a family member or friend with a project. He loved spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren. Frank can best be described as a patient, kind, and clever. Those who knew Frank will cherish the memories spent joking and laughing with him. He was known for having a heart of gold and was always a joy to be around. He will be greatly missed.

Frank is survived by his wife of 65 years, Vivian; children, Steven (Mary) Kilwein, Francine (Al) Koffler; five grandchildren, Jesse Bautz, Tiffaney (Matthew) Dolechek, Cloe Kilwein, Tess Kilwein, and Christian Kilwein; step-grandchildren, Amanda, Eric and April Koffler; great-granddaughter, Emily Elizabeth; siblings, Berdine (Ralph) Flyberg, Mary Eva Pope, Marcella (Melvin) Flyberg; sister-in-law, Elenor Kilwein; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Pauline and Deloris; brothers, Leroy, Joe and John; brothers-in-law, Hank, Edward and Julius; and sisters-in-law, Mary, Stella, Elsie and Albina.

Private Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary's Catholic Church, New England Saturday, October 17, 2020


1133 I-94 Bus. Loop E | Dickinson, ND 58601 | Phone: (701) 264-7195 | Toll Free: 1-877-990-9116 | Fax: (701) 264-7196