LIMA — Around 100 units participated in Saturday’s Lima Irish Parade through downtown Lima.
The parade started at St. Gerard Catholic School on North Main Street and wound its way south to Town Square. Hundreds of Irish families carried banners proudly proclaiming their Irish heritage.
However, the usually festive occasion, was bittersweet for one extended Lima family. Earlier this year, Danny Killian was named Grand Marshal of the parade. Killian died July 31, 2017, and the decision to name him Grand Marshal of the parade was to honor him and draw attention to the good works he did, despite his tragic death.
“He took his own life. He committed suicide,” said Beverly Killian Carder, sister of Danny Killian.
“Danny did not have an enemy. Everybody loved Danny. He was just the most likeable person that you could ever meet. Always had a smile on his face, just a good guy,” Carder said, choking back tears.
Carder hopes that people will seek professional help if they’re hurting inside, like Danny was.
“The thing I really want to say is anybody out there struggling with any negative, depressing thoughts: please open up and talk to somebody. Don’t keep anything inside. Be open if you’re having any problems. Just be open and talk to people,” she said.
More than 50 relatives and friends of Killian marched in the parade to remember him.
“I’m sure his Irish eyes are looking down. He’s smiling away up there,” Carder said.
“Danny Killian did so much for the youth in the Lima community. If a kid didn’t have tennis shoes, he would go out and buy a kid tennis shoes. If they didn’t have anything to eat, he would buy them lunch. Danny Killian was just a class act, and he was proud of his Irish heritage, as you can tell by the turnout that he has here with his family,” said parade organizer Darby Bourk.
“Danny worked a lot with little kids. He refereed CYO basketball. He loved little kids because he was never able to have his own. So he spent a lot of time refereeing on Saturday mornings here at St. Gerard’s CYO games, and he did it just for these kids. He just loved people,” Carder said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.