ALBANY – Michael J. Kilmade, 69, of Albany, NY, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. He died surrounded by his loving family – his high school sweetheart and wife of 44 years, Debbie, and their three children – Chris, Joe (Jessica), and Maureen (Erwin Vandenabeele).
The son of the late Daniel and Tomasina Kilmade, Mike grew up in Guilderland with his sister Anna Marie (Gatons). He attended Christ the King School and Bishop Gibbons High School and was a UAlbany and RPI graduate. He worked as a computer programmer for over 30 years for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. He was an avid thoroughbred racing handicapper and loved nothing more than a beautiful summer afternoon at Saratoga Race Track.
He is the beloved Poppa to his two grandchildren, Danny and Lily, who were lucky enough to know and love him.
He was a humble man with a brilliant mind and a profound devotion to his family. Even in his final weeks, he made people laugh and brought everyone closer together.
He had cancer and ALS, yet he was the one always taking care of others. He never complained, never felt sorry for himself, and never gave up. He never used being sick as an excuse. He continued to work, to live, and to love. If anything, being sick made him more devout in his faith and more committed to his family.
The 5-year survival rate for stage IV melanoma is 5%. He lived with it for 24 years. He knew how lucky he was to be alive and he used that gift of time to help others. He cared for his own parents as they got older. He worked until retirement to ensure that his family would be taken care of. He got to be Poppa to his grandchildren. He got to love and be loved for much longer than most people in his situation.
His case is so rare that it will be studied by doctors at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He will help save lives and give families like his more time with their loved ones. It is fitting that a humble man with a deep love for others will anonymously change the world even after his death.
The Kilmade family would like to express its deepest and heartfelt appreciation to Dr. David McDermott and his staff in Boston, who treated Mike for the last 12 years and undoubtedly extended and improved his quality of life.
Services will be held graveside at the Calvary Cemetery. Attendance is limited. Please contact the family directly if you would like to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Michael Kilmade to the St. Peter’s Regional ALS Center located at 19 Warehouse Row, Albany, NY 12205. To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit HansFuneralHome.com .