John Patrick Kilkie was born in Gravesend Hospital, Queen St Gravesend on 23 September 1985 to Martin and Sarah Kilkie and died peacefully in Pilgrims hospice, Canterbury on 2 March 2022. He refused to be called John, we called him John Patrick but he insisted with everyone until the end he was “Jonny”.
He was a very happy boy, energetic and mischevious. He was in trouble in his nursery, his primary and his secondary school for being talkative in class.
He didn’t want A levels as he was turned off by the whole school experience but enjoyed HE college where he got distinctions in his Higher National Diplomas in Network ICT. From there he went to University of Kent for a B.Sc. in Computing. In the world of work he gravitated towards jobs where talking to people was a big part of the job. He revelled in call centre work, phones and computers and was given awards by BT as the best salesman in England.
He was a body builder extreme and had arm muscles like thighs. He loved his gym. Jonny was passionate about his cars. He had begged, pleaded and nagged us from when he was legally able to learn, passed his test then began a love affair with fast cars and modified cars. He progressed over the years from Clio to Megane then 5 different Fiat Coupes through a Honda Civic and finally to his dream car of a VW Golf R. He spent thousands on this last car and we still have it. He was so proud when his car was measured on a dyno as 501 hp. His other love was tattoos. First one when he was 18 then increasingly more then sleeve then… In his last week out of hospital he spent 3 days in tattoo shops and had John Wick tattooed on the right side of his head and a predator on the other.
He trained as a prison officer in 2018 and was proud when he passed with distinction from the boot camp. He went to work in HMP Rochester (the original Borstal) really enjoyed engaging with the inmates and in particular those in the medical wing which were mostly self harmers and drug addicts. He disliked and couldn’t cope with the culture of prison staff who were mostly ex-police who loved bullying and deliberately provoking the prisoners.
Jonny decided on the basis of his prison work to train as a nurse. He had worked in the prison health wing and enjoyed helping the ill prisoners. Then covid hit, the university course was altered to online only. He had been having lots of gut problems from before his time in prison and gone to his GP a number of times. He was on a long waiting list for a colonoscopy and instead had a ultrasound at his local hospital when he was told it was Colon cancer, stage 4 and probably terminal. Over the next 18 months he fought bravely with constant chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the additional issues of covid restrictions.
In late January 2022 he was admitted to Margate hospital. The doctors kept him sedated for his benefit, which he wanted. He was admitted to the local Pilgrims hospice on 1 March 2022 and perversely was awake and fully coherent that day when he transferred. He died peacefully in his sleep the next day.
In spite of almost two years of knowing it was going to happen, his passing was a colossal loss which will leave a void in our lives forever. Jonny was absolute in his instruction that he did not want a public funeral. He was cremated in the local crematorium with only his immediate family and his ashes are with us now and forever. One part of his ashes have been buried in his adopted town of Hersden near Canterbury and another three parts are earmarked for Glasgow, Gravesend and Derry.