Killroy Was Here. A tribute to our founder Phil Olavarri
Killroy Korner. A word from Lynn Olivarri, President of Killroy, about her father, Killroy's founder, Phil Olavarri
Technician in the Spotlight A little about Steve @ Killroy
Pest Fun FactsInteresting facts about caterpillars, crustaceans, and more.
Referral RewardsRefer us to your friends, family, and neighbors, and enjoy a cup of coffee - compliments of Killroy!
Technician in the Spotlight
Steve @ Killroy
Although he has been a member of Killroy’s Pest Management Professional Team for more than 26 years, you can now find Steve as our face in social media. Check out Killroy’s Facebook page and you will find him all over the Greater Killroy Service Area, posting informative and entertaining videos under the moniker, [email protected]
Steve’s years of experience, not only in structural pest control, but in the agricultural and commercial field, provide our customers with informative insights regarding their home, yard and/or business. Whether it has to do with the timing and proper treatments for dormant applications, identifying common rodent issues, or the responsibility of providing service to our schools, Steve will take you behind the scenes for a personal “insiders” tour.
If you have anything in particular you would like to see Steve provide an informative video regarding, please post it on our Facebook page, and give us a Like.
It is with great sadness that we let our customers know of a tremendous loss the Killroy family has been coping with lately. On April 14, 2015 our founder, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, uncle and mentor passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.
Phil Olavarri, and his wife Norma, started Killroy Pest control 59 years ago. Being members of the WW II Generation, they named the company after a well known slogan from the War, “Kilroy Was Here”. As the story goes, an extra “L” was added to “Killroy” because they were going into the “killing business” after all. Times were a little rough at first because they initially didn’t have any customers. Phil walked neighborhoods and rang doorbells, and Norma made calls from the kitchen. But soon they had entire streets on service. At that time, a monthly account was $4.00.
Referrals kept coming in and so they had to hire some help. After an “over the fence” discussion with a neighbor, they hired Vince Navarra and soon another route was born. They continued to add another technician per year throughout the 60’s. Killroy serviced their customers better than any other company(and still does!). Phil’s motto was always, “Service First”.
As business kept growing, the neighbors thought it would be a great idea if they found a new place to park all of their red trucks, instead of on the street in front of their house. Killroy’s first commercial location was on Bascom Avenue. Norma finally got some help in the office and was able to get back to raising their family, and to her first profession as a Registered Nurse.
Outgrowing the Bascom Ave site, they built our current location at 1175 Dell Ave., Campbell CA. in 1964. Navigating a recession and then booming with the Med-Fly invasion, as well as adding a second location in the Tri-Valley...the 70’s and 80’s were very busy.
Always one to be a part of the community and there with a helping hand, Phil became a active member of the Chamber of Commerce, and was a founding member of the Prune Festival, now called Boogie on the Avenue. He also helped found the Campbell Golf Club, and continued being an active member of the Optimists and SIRS through this year.
All along the way, the company always felt like more of a family than a small business, and that legacy remains today as their daughters, grandsons, son-in-law, and second cousins as well as staff members have brought their spouses, children and in-laws into the business. But it is more than the literal. The company and its customers are considered a family—each to be respected and each to be appreciated.
Phil was one of a kind. The most common resounding adjective that was spoken at his memorial service was, “He was the most honest man I ever met”. He will be missed greatly.
by Lynn Olavarri
My Dad, Phil Olavarri. A member of what Tom Brokaw so aptly named, The Greatest Generation. This is a photo from the San Jose Giants playing card that Dad was honored with last year, as part of a tribute to our veterans. Since this newsletter will cover the time between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, I’d like to pay tribute to the man who flew those B17s for five years, and was then able to return home, begin a new life, and become my wonderful father.
Dad was born into a poor farming family in Los Gatos, and learned very young how to work hard , do what had to be done, and do it as soon as possible. He enlisted in the army with the onset of World War II, becoming a pilot in the Army Air Corps with over 50 missions by war’s end. I know that these years (before Killroy and my siblings and me) were the years that proved to be the solid foundation for the man he became and the life he built.
Dad was humble and quiet. Like so many of our war veterans, he didn’t talk much about his experience,. And like so many warriors, we know he was haunted by some of the memories. His awards and medals from the war were kept in a box and not many knew about them. Dad lived in the “now” and always seemed to be striving to better his “now”, rather than talking of what he did in the past. A man’s value grew by the work he did each day and the contributions he made to a greater whole. The “structure” or life that Dad was building would not be flashy or towering, but it would be strong and it would belong among its surroundings.
Dad led by example. I am confident that the crew he flew with enjoyed his calm influence and confident direction. Hard work and perseverance were his cornerstones, and they were also attributes that he looked for in all he later managed, befriended or raised. He would jump in wherever needed, and would be there until the end. Dad was also extremely respectful of our community leaders—he knew they had a tough job and deserved a special place at our tables.
Dad was pragmatic and yet, hopeful. He accepted unexpected outcomes and sad turns of events, sometimes without a tear, but he also knew that the future held surprises that may be brighter. I am sure he and his crew faced each mission knowing the many dangers, yet they looked with promise toward the life to which they would return. Dad’s blueprint, the plan to be built on that early foundation, changed many times as life presented challenges, but he was always the optimist.
Finally, honesty and integrity were the steel forms within his foundation and throughout his life. That is probably why he rose steadily in military rank. Dad didn’t have any patience for a person (or daughter) who was not up to doing the right thing. We learned early that we make our own “structure” in life. He and mom gave us our own firm foundation of treating others with respect, sticking with a job to the end, joining in whenever you can be of help...and so much more. Then it was up to us. I can only hope the lives we are building atop his base have made him proud.