Andy Obituary and Service
Rev. D. Andrew Kille
January 6, 1950- June 30, 2018
The Rev. D. Andrew Kille, writer, teacher, editor, musician, preacher, biblical scholar, and interfaith activist passed away surrounded by his family on June 30, 2018, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born January 6, 1950, the eldest of three children of David and Ruth Kille, he grew up in Ventura until moving to Ojai in 1960. He attended the Ojai Valley School, where his grandparents worked, and the Thacher School, graduating in 1967. He attended Stanford University (A.B. ’71 in English Literature), where he met Pamela Bjorklund, the love of his life. They were married August 31, 1972, in a redwood glen at Portola State Park, and had two sons, Jabin and Russell.
Andy continued his education by attending the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley and was ordained by the American Baptist Churches USA in 1975. He served at First Baptist Church of Palo Alto as an intern, as Seminary Intern at Memorial Church at Stanford University, and then at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose as youth pastor and associate pastor, before becoming Senior pastor from 1979-1988. During his tenure, he was closely involved with the San Jose Urban Ministry, the San Jose State Campus Ministry, and the Pacific Southwest Conference on World Christian Mission, which met each Summer at Asilomar.
In 1989, he returned to study at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. in psychology and the Bible.He was part of a movement to renew psychologically- informed ways of reading the Bible and was credited with naming the new field: “psychological biblical criticism.” He was Chair of the Psychology and Biblical Studies unit of the Society of Biblical Studies for several years. In 2008, he became the Editor of The Bible Workbench (now Reading Between The Lines), a study resource for individuals and groups that uses open-ended questions to engage people deeply with scripture readings.
After teaching briefly at Santa Clara University and Holy Names College, he began a five-year stint at the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, in the Office for Parish. Beginning as an office assistant for a short term, he eventually became Assistant, and helped guide demographic research as part of the diocesan planning for the future.
In 2003, he created Interfaith Space, developing opportunities for interfaith dialogue, shared sacred space and communications among interfaith groups in Santa Clara County and surrounding areas. Together with other interfaith projects, Interfaith Space gave rise to Santa Clara County being proclaimed a Partner City of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and he was part of the delegation that traveled to Melbourne to receive that recognition. He then chaired the group that created Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) and served as the first Chair of SiVIC. Since 2007, he edited the Bay Area Interfaith Connect newsletter published by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. He was well known in interfaith circles around the Bay Area and beyond.
Throughout his life, Andy cherished the outdoors. He grew up with weekend hikes and backpacking trips into the backcountry of the Sespe River, horseback expeditions, weeklong trips through the Sierras, the Cascades, the Trinity Alps and other high country. He and Pamela nearly always spent their wedding anniversary backpacking, camped beside a lake, and even when his health prevented longer trips, they would enjoy the open spaces at McArthur Burney Falls State Park. His last trip was into the Sespe with members of his high school class celebrating their 50th reunion just before his cancer was discovered.
He loved music. He played guitar, composed songs, and led congregational music at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church for 15 years. He sang with the Sunnyvale Singers Community Chorus for nearly 30 years (and delivered some memorable donor pitches at intermission).
Andy is survived by his wife, Pamela, his sons Jabin (Michelle) and Russell, grandson Hart, father David W. Kille, sisters Laurel Buhler (Michael), Shannon Frew (James), nieces Laurie and Beth Buhler and nephew Davey Frew (Rosie).
Andy’s memorial service will be on Sunday, September 9, 2018, at 2:00 pm at the Chung Tai Zen Center, 750 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to:
The Educational Center
P.O. Box 11892
Charlotte, N.C. 28220
Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC)
c/o Joy-Ellen Lipsky
183 Goldenrain Dr.
San Jose, CA 95111