Major Killian Found Dead Monday
A well known Carthaginian is dead.
“Major Killian, member of the Carthage historical committee and Carthage UMC, was found dead Monday at his home,” Mayor Lee McGraw said Tuesday afternoon. “The police entered after friends – concerned (about Major’s) well-being – notified them.”
Killian’s death was confirmed by Police Chief Bart Davis at the town board meeting Tuesday night. The chief said that the call for help brought a responding officer to Killian’s home in the historic district of Carthage, but he found the door locked and there was no response to his knock.
“Our patrol officer – Officer Clark – arrived first and spoke with someone,” the chief said. “We couldn’t make contact with anyone that had a key to the residence. We had some friends of his that got involved – Beth McNeely and her mother – and went up with us to the residence and assisted Officer Clark.”
They could see an open window in the front of the house, but it was on an upper floor.
“We actually had to get our officer on a ladder to the second floor to an open window,” the chief said. “He got in and found (Major Killian) deceased. He was in the kitchen, had been there some time. He had a diabetic history and actually had had a mild stroke awhile back.”
Their next step was finding some way to notify a member of Killian’s family.
“The only contact we could make was with a cousin that lives in Penick Village in Southern Pines,” Davis said. “She came by the police department today. Now she has all the information, and she is trying to make arrangements. I am not sure how much contact they had with each other. He had more friends around here than he had family. I understand he had some family in southern California. Shortly after he came here, he had a lot of interaction with the town. We did talk quite a bit then, but it’s been some time.”
The mayor hailed Killian for his efforts as a member of the Carthage community.
“Major was always trying to help make this a better place,” McGraw said. “He had his own way about him that fit no mold. With those two thoughts in mind, I believe he would be okay with me saying that he cared enough to make his thoughts be known and works be seen, even at the risk of being called ‘a little different.’”
He and his mother lived together for years in Whispering Pines until her death several years ago.
“He was very much involved with the historical committee,” said Town Manager Carol Sparks. “He had a keen sense of history for the town of Carthage. He was very passionate about Carthage. He wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion any issue at all, very forthright. He had no meanness about him; he was himself.”
Several commissioners gasped in shock at the news when they found out at the meeting. Killian had opened the Carthage Historical Museum for the first time this year and was on the committee’s schedule for frequent posts on its Sunday open hours.
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