Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ira Lee Kirkpatrick Jr

Ira Lee Kirkpatrick Jr., 87, a life-long resident of Noxapater, Miss., died Feb. 15, 2011. Born July 17, 1937, he was a grandson of Dr. and Mrs. T.F. Kilpatrick of Noxapater and Mr. and Mrs. John Kirkpatrick of the Campground Community. His parents were Algy Myrtle Kilpatrick Kirkpatrick and Ira Kirkpatrick Sr. Brothers, Joe Davis and James Woodward, and sister, Nancy McBrayer, also preceded him in death. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Lucille Graham Kirkpatrick; his son, Ira Lee III (Sharon) of McDonough, Ga.; daughter Lillian (Joseph) Mirando, of Ponchatoula, La.; three grandchildren, Lucy Mirando of Los Angeles, Lisa Kirkpatrick (Jantsen Haney) of Morrow, Ga., and Navy Airman Aaron Kirkpatrick of the USS WASP at Norfolk, Va.; a sister, Ann Fulton of Brandon, Miss.; nieces, nephews and countless family and friends of the church, the community and others whose lives he touched. Mr. Kirkpatrick was a retired educator, farmer and World War II veteran. His first teaching appointment was at Shuqualak. He taught at Noxapater High School from 1951 to 1988 and was a faithful member of Noxapater Baptist Church, where he had served as a deacon, taught Sunday School, led the Royal Ambassadors, kept the nursery with his wife, served on the outreach team and was a prayer warrior. He helped organize the Christian Ministry Center and volunteered as an associate leader. As a youth, he worked as a clerk at the Noxapater Drugstore and played football for Noxapater, East Central Community College and Southern Mississippi. In 1942-45, he served valiantly with the 104th Division, 414 Regiment, 1st Battalion Company A (Timberwolf) in the march across Europe. He witnessed the bombing of Cologne and participated in the Battle of the Bulge, the fighting in the Ardenne Forest, the crossing of the Rohr, the liberation of Nordhausen concentration camp and the meeting of the US troops with the Russians outside Hallee, Germany. He was discharged Jan. 15, 1945. After the war, he earned a bachelor’s degree at Southern Mississippi, master’s in business education and counseling from Mississippi College and specialist degrees in education and psychology from Mississippi State. He also furthered his education at the University of Alabama. He taught history, bookkeeping and typing many years at Noxapater and had served as yearbook adviser and coach. He enjoyed tent camping and took his family to many interesting places in our beautiful country. He and his wife traveled extensively after their retirement. They enjoyed attending Ridgecrest and Gulf Shore Baptist Assemblies. Well-known for his love of the garden, he shared tomatoes, cornmeal and other vegetables with friends all over the country. He and his wife dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus for the Noxapater Christmas parade many years. He led a reunion for his immediate family every Thanksgiving, and he never missed a Kilpatrick reunion. Visitation will be at Nowell-Massey Funeral Home, Louisville, Thursday at 5-8 p.m. and Friday at the Noxapater Baptist Church from10 a.m. until the funeral at 11 a.m. followed by burial in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Noxapater. In lieu of flowers, send donations to Mt. Carmel Cemetery fund in care of Noxapater Baptist.