ALTON - Alton Mayor David Goins began the Alton City Council meeting on Jan. 11 by honoring the late James Harrison Killion III, who among many other things, was co-founder and president of the Friends of the 60’s/Alton Black Alumni Association, a Life and Golden Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and a member of Trinity A.M.E. Church in Alton.
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"During his long and productive life, James has demonstrated countless ways in which his dedication and support to his family, friends, and to the City of Alton has earned him the respect and affection of people from all walks of life and all ages," Goins said.
“As the Mayor of the City of Alton, Illinois, we hereby express our deep appreciation for his partnership and service to this community,” he added. “We acknowledge Mr. Killion and may he rest in peace.”
Killion was born in Alton in 1944, attended Alton Public Schools, and went on to graduate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He was the Vice President of Maritz LLC for 10 years, and also worked for General Electric Capital IT Solutions and Xerox Corporation.
Killion received many honors for his civil rights work, including the Alton High School Distinguished Alumni Award, the Elijah P. Lovejoy Human Rights Award, and a feature profile in the C. Sunny Martin book, “Who's Who in Black St. Louis.”
“Mr. Killion championed human civil rights and served on numerous boards, including the Clayton and Virginia Williams Foundation, the Wesley House Foundation, and the Miles Davis Memorial Project,” Goins said.
He also helped establish James Killion Day on May 28, 2022, and contributed to the James Killion Beautification Enhancement Committee for the James H. Killion Park at Salu St. in Alton, both in honor of his late father, James Harrison Killion Jr.
Last year, Killion published a book titled, "A Black Soldier's Letters Home," composed of letters written during World War II by his father - those letters are now archived in the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.