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John ‘Johnnyk’ Kilbourne

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Johnnyk, 51, passed away quietly on Feb. 25 in Yakima, Wash., surrounded by family and friends, after a short battle with melanoma cancer. He was born in Dayton on Dec. 26, 1961, and raised in Yellow Springs, which always held a special place in his heart. Johnnyk would take three hours to walk down Xenia Avenue, was a fan of Mr. Fubs and worked at The Winds. John lived briefly in New York City, Key West, Fla., Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Atlanta, Ga. and spent 10 years in Portland, Ore., before moving to Yakima in 1995.

John worked at Deli de Pasta, then Café Melange, as a server, and eventually took over as owner. After selling the restaurant, he became manager of Garden Dance Boutique, where he was dearly loved by everyone and his kindness was all encompassing. John spent his working life in Yakima on North Front Street and participated in the transformation of the historic district.

John had the ability to make friends easily. Whether it was a conversation with our monthly homeless customer at the restaurant or with The Original Bond Girl, Ursula Andress, on the beach in Jamaica, John made everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

John loved music, whether singing or listening to his favorite artists. A highlight was attending Barbara Streisand’s millennium concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and a Wanda Jackson concert in Yellow Springs.

He is survived by David Picatti, and extended family in Yakima, his mother, Jane Norman, step-father Dave Norman of Dayton, sister Canaan Caesar, nephew Jarrin of Lancaster, Calif., brother Scott Norman of Killeen, Texas, sister-in-law Kerry Norman and nieces Erin and Molly of Englewood, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his father, John Allen Kilbourne, of Dayton.

Johnnyk loved his five dogs and was a true dog person. He also loved to travel and enjoying his friends and family. He will be missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pegasus Project at, Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity or the charity of your choice.

A celebration of his life was held Saturday, March 2 at noon at the Season’s Performance Hall in Yakima. Brookside Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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