Richard Ide Kirkland
1927 – 2020
HENDERSONVILLE-Richard Ide Kirkland (Dick) 92, died on April 4, 2020 from causes related to liver cancer. He was born September 24, 1927 in Ithaca, NY, the son of the late Joseph Brackin Kirkland and Eleanor George Kirkland.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years Alice Creel Kirkland; brothers William George Kirkland, Joseph Brackin Kirkland, Jr and survived by his sister Judy Leidy and 3 children Rik Kirkland (Vicky), Steve Kirkland (Gina) and Kathy Long (Jon); 9 grandchildren: Matt Kirkland (Sofia Cordova); Jack Kirkland, Allegra Kirkland (Daniel Graf); Evan Kirkland, Brackin Kirkland, Ben Long (Anna), Stephen Long (Jamie), Katherine Long Berard (Sam) and Daniel Long; 3 great grandchildren: Margo Long, Cohen Long and Silvio Cordova-Kirkland; sisters-in-law Joyce Creel and Shirley Kirkland.
Dick completed his BA at Cornell University where he also received his Master’s Degree in Education in 1953. Dick proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-50, honorably discharged as an Ensign Naval Aviator. He and Alice raised their children in Selma, Alabama where Dick had a distinguished 22 year career with the United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH), where he served as executive director from 1966 to 1977. His impact as a servant leader and role model for the children and staff at UMCH continues to be felt today. Dick and Alice also lived in Killen, AL; Burnsville, NC and moved to Hendersonville, NC in 2010.
Dick cherished his family, relished working in the woods and listening to Big Band music (he and late wife Alice were the #1 fans of Hendersonville’s Swing Band) and was a history buff and voracious reader. He loved college sports, causing much consternation locally by wearing his Duke sweatshirt and UNC ball cap simultaneously. He loved a good debate and did not mind playing devil’s advocate. Above all, he was a master navigator, not just of the heavens, but of how to live a good life on this earth. His spirit, love and quiet courage never wavered and touched all who knew him.
A memorial service will be held at a place and time to be determined. The family requests memorial contributions be made in memory of Dick Kirkland to: Conserving Carolina, 847 Case Street, Hendersonville, NC 28702 or online at conservingcarolina.org or The United Methodist Children’s Home, 3140 Zelda Court, Suite 100, Montgomery, AL 36106-2607 or online at UMCH.net
Condolence cards may be sent to the family at www.jacksonfuneralservice.comor to Po Box 945, Hendersonville, NC 28793.