Preston Killebrew Jr. was a strong family-valued man who believed that his responsibility was to provide for his family no matter how hard or long he had to work. He died Oct. 17. He was 77.
Killebrew was born on May 30, 1934, in Philadelphia to Daisy Settles and Preston Killebrew Sr. and was the third of four children. He graduated from Overbrook High School in 1953. He continued his education by enrolling in business administration studies at Temple University.
Believing he needed to become knowledgeable in the word of God, he attended Manna Bible Institute in Philadelphia. He graduated with honors in 1986.
At the age of six years old, he accepted Christ as his personal savior and subsequently was baptized. At that time, he joined the fellowship of the Vine Street Baptist Church and served on the Sunday school, ushers and choir ministries.
While growing up, he continued working diligently as a member of Vine Street Baptist Church, which later became Vine Memorial Baptist Church in 1979. He was appointed the Director of Evangelism in 1980 when the church elected him to the ministry of deacons under the chairmanship of his late father, Preston Killebrew Sr.
One year later in 1981, following in the steps of his father, he was elected as the chairman of the ministry of deacons.
While still in high school, he met Yvonne Bailey, whom he would later marry on September 25, 1954. They had two children, Daryl and Karen.
An entrepreneur at heart, Preston had a great desire to own and operate a business. He was blessed to have several successful businesses on a part-time basis, such as a janitorial service and a technical employment placement service.
He was employed for 35 years at American Electronic Laboratories, Inc. (AEL) as a technical writer and marketing representative.
In 1995, he retired from AEL Industries, Inc. Determined not to sit around long, he opened Preston’s Auto Detail Salon. Under this business venture, he successfully opened locations within several parking garages around Center City Philadelphia.
Killebrew connected any success he had in life to his personal relationship with God. He experienced great joy in working in the church and had a great love for teaching the word of the Lord.
He was considered a man of Godly wisdom often giving sound advice along with practical biblical and spiritual direction to those who asked. Killebrew’s family said he had a super supreme love for God, his family, pastor and church family. To many he was affectionately known as “Sonny.”
His dry humor kept many laughing, and because of his quiet character and refined temperance he was sometimes lovingly referred to as “Cool Pres” — he never lost his “cool.”
Killebrew is survived by: two children, Daryl Preston Killebrew and Karen Killebrew Wilkins; daughter-in-law, Macrina Killebrew; son-in-law, Ronald Wilkins; sister, Louise Gallman; 10 grandchildren, which includes two spouses, three great-grandchildren, five sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and colleagues whom he regarded as family.
He was preceded in death by siblings Dolores Key and Leonard Killebrew.
Services will be held Oct. 22 at Vine Memorial Baptist Church, 5600 West Girard Ave. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. the service will start at 11. Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.