Ernest Brian Killingsworth

07/27/1942 - 03/23/2022


Obituary For Ernest Brian Killingsworth

Ernest Brian Killingsworth passed away Wednesday, March 23, leaving a legacy of love and laughter that will forever be cherished by his family and friends. Brian was born July 27, 1942, in Charleston, South Carolina to Eldred Bryan and Genevieve Wilcox Killingsworth. He grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and graduated from The Citadel in 1964. He received his MBA from Georgia State University. Brian retired from AT&T. He served in the US Army receiving the Army Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville.

After retirement he was able to pursue his real passion, growing dahlias. He developed a dahlia garden in Ellijay, Georgia known as Creekside Dahlia Farm. Brian’s love for dahlias was featured on HGTV in 2012 and he has been featured in national magazines. He sold dahlias internationally from his farm and delivered dahlias to the Atlanta flower market. Brian was named Dahlia Grower of the Year by the National Dahlia Society and was known and as a teacher and mentor to many in the dahlia world. Brian cultivated the dahlia garden at Bullington Gardens which features hundreds of breathtaking dahlias where his team referred to him as the dahlia guru.

Brian had a passion for baseball, history, music, books, and dogs. On one occasion he transported homeless dogs from Georgia to permanent homes in New Jersey. Through the years he hosted many dogs on his farm in Georgia and was known to take the dogs out for ice cream.

He is survived by his wife Linda Rivers Killingsworth; daughter, Tory Killingsworth Coggins; son-in-law, Andrew Coggin; grandchildren, Brooke, Brantley and Michael of Longview, Texas. He was predeceased by daughter, Amanda Ruth Killingsworth. He leaves his brother, Dr. Richard Killingsworth and wife, Julie of Columbia, SC; sisters, Patricia Riddle and JoAnn Killingsworth of Charleston; nieces, nephews and many special friends.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm on April 9, 2022 at First United Methodist Church, 204 6th Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC 28739.

The family requests remembrances be made to Bullington Gardens at 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville, NC 28792, 828-698-6104 or a charity of their choice.

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  • 04/10/2022

    To Linda and Family, We were so blessed to attend Brian's Service yesterday at the First United Methodist Church. His friends and immediate family said everything that Brian was. He always had his hand in the dirt. Always sharing his knowledge and his dahlias. His sense of humor was always present in a room of people. A giving husband and we know that to be true as a father and granddad. We will miss this special person. Ken and Evelyn Zulla

  • 03/28/2022

    Thank you, Brian, for your beautiful work at Bullington. Denise Sherrill

  • 03/27/2022

    Brian's light heartedness and warmth are memories that I cherish. In memory, I have long heard the deep affection for him in the voices of his and my Uncle Harry and of his Aunt Ruby, my mother. Deepest sympathy to Linda, Patsy, Richard, JoAnn, Tory and all of Brian's family and friends.

  • 03/25/2022

    Dear Linda, may the peace of Christ comfort you and yours right now. I have fond memories of garden visits, Brian's presentations and his love of dahlias, love of you, and life on the farm. Blessings, Tibby Parker Pryor

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