|HENRY KILINSKI BRO DONATION FUND - at 11:59 p.m., Friday: $13,461.89|
A loyal member of the Bruin Report Online family was tragically killed earlier this week in a train wreck in Glendale, California. Henry Kilinski (who used the nickname Hkilinski online), was a diehard Bruin fan who will be missed by everyone in the BRO community.
With that in mind, a fund was set up for BROs, Bruin fans and anyone else touched by this loss to help out Henry's family. We had the fund open online for a week, and we raised $13,461.89.
We wanted to close the online fund as soon as we possibly could so we could get the bulk of the donations quickly to Henry's wife, Candace.
If you still want to contribute, you can send your donation to:
The Henry J. Kilinski Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 5330
Orange, CA 92863
Henry was known in our cyber-community as a fiercely loyal Bruin fan, a knowledgeable guy with a funny and easygoing style. Of course, he was much more than that. Below is a published story about Henry, source unknown, that offers a bit more about Henry.
Henry Kilinski: Aspiring Firefighter Was Upbeat
Henry Kilinski, UCLA sports fan and aspiring firefighter, was the kind of man "who knew how to put a smile on your face," said his sister, Valerie. "He was always so positive and up."
|Natalie Walker, Henry's daughter, looking over pictures of him. (LA Times)|
He had done so Wednesday because it was raining. His family urged him to take the train when the weather was bad, Walker said, "because it was safer."
Valerie Kilinski said that she turned on the news yesterday morning and learned of the crash on the Metrolink route that her younger brother regularly took to work. She said she called his cellphone, but got no answer. "I was hoping he was already at the office," she said.
The Kilinski family was together at the command center when they finally got news late Wednesday of Henry's death.
Family members remembered him Thursday as a man devoted to his parents and sisters. He wasn't necessarily a fan of dance, said his stepdaughter, but he attended every one of her performances.
Kilinski married Walker's mother, Candace, two years ago — after 12 years of dating. "He was a gentleman, manly, always kind, and always cared about others before himself. He loved my mom with all of his heart."
From the Orange County Register:
By AMANDA BECK
Henry Kilinski kissed his wife goodbye a few hours before dawn Wednesday morning.
It was 4:30 a.m., and so as not to disturb her, Kilinski had showered and dressed in the dark.
"You taking the train?" asked Candace Walker-Kilinski, 51.
"Yeah. I love you," he replied.
Kilinski, 39, was killed less than two hours later in a three-train collision in Glendale, one of the worst rail accidents in U.S. history.
Police said the collision, which took 11 lives, occurred after suicidal Compton resident Juan Manuel Alvarez parked his car on the railroad tracks and then abandoned it.
Walker-Kilinski reached out Thursday to touch her husband's picture, flickering on a television news broadcast. Her wedding ring glistened as she wiped away tears.
"He looks so good," she said.
Kilinksi, an insurance claims examiner, frequently took the train from Anaheim to his job at Alliance Global Risk in Burbank.
After the accident, Walker-Kilinski called her husband's office and learned co-workers were worried that he hadn't shown up as usual.
She drove with her daughter to the Glendale community center, where relatives of passengers were gathering.
Police ushered her into a small room.
"I remember thinking, 'There aren't many people in here. I don't think this is a room you want to be in,' " Walker-Kilinski said.
Officers confirmed what she had feared.
|Henry with his wife, Candace.|
"Henry loved Candace more than life itself. He was always receptive to her needs - sometimes before she even knew them," said Helen Kilinski- Dupuis, his sister.
She was the first to hear that her brother planned to propose to Walker-Kilinski after a 10-year courtship.
Their relationship grew out of a workplace romance, during which Kilinski often admired her from afar.
"I could tell. He was enamored with me," Walker-Kilinski said.
But as a single mother and a woman 10 years his senior, she was reluctant to begin a relationship with him.
Through years of attending dance recitals and competitions for Walker-Kilinski's daughter, Nathalie, now 17, Kilinski won her over.
"I was the one who taught him how to be a gentleman," Kilinski-Dupuis said. "A real man is someone who is strong but sensitive, tough but caring."
He cooked meals for Walker-Kilinski. He sent flowers. As recently as Monday, he had a glass of wine and dinner waiting for her when she returned home late.
When they were finally married two years ago, they chose to walk down the aisle together.
"My brother was 36 at that time. He didn't need someone to give Candace away," Kilinski-Dupuis said. "They were grownups. And they had already made their commitment to each other."
Kilinski also became such a famous UCLA Bruins fan that a message board Thursday posted 100 condolence notes.
On Wednesday, the priest who married the couple will also give Kilinski's benediction at a 10 a.m. service at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. The two canters who sang at their wedding will perform at the service.