William Kirkpatrick

Obituary of William Bruce Kirkpatrick

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William Bruce Kirkpatrick

March 6, 1949 – May 24, 2023

Bill was born March 6, 1949, at Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the second son and third child of James Russell Kirkpatrick and his wife, Ann V. Shupe, both of whom predeceased him. His sister, Susan Kirkpatrick Kundert, her husband, Ernest E. Kundert, his nephew Benjamin Harding (“Bell”) Hoffman, as well as beloved cousins and step-family, survive.

Bill grew up as a “free range child” in the small towns of Croton, Pataskala, and Whitehouse, Ohio (attending Anthony Wayne High School), before the family moved back to Columbus in 1965. Bill graduated from Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus in 1967, and joined the United States Navy immediately upon graduation. He served as a radioman aboard the USS Cromwell, a Destroyer Escort based in Newport, R.I.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Bill attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude in May, 1975. He pursued graduate studies in Business at Western Kentucky. Later, through Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa, CA, Bill found his true calling as a gifted graphic artist, specializing in pencil-on-paper drawing. Bill had also been an accomplished guitarist and vocalist, and to the end, if he was happy, he would sing along with the in music playing his mind.

In his 50th year, while living in Carrboro, North Carolina, Bill suffered a major stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side and with profound aphasia. Although his disabilities were significant and life-altering, Bill recovered from this setback to a greater extent than might have been expected, and lived another 24 years, making friends wherever he went, enjoying hanging out in his old haunts in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, and later at the Durham Regent and surrounding community.

In his later years, Bill was proud of his affiliation with the Navy, and found a great sense of community with his fellow veterans from all branches of the service whom he met as a patient at the Durham Veteran’s Administration Hospital. We commend the medical and support staff of that organization for the phenomenally patient and capable care they provided Bill, and for collectively seeing him through to his final day, May 24, 2023, at their In-hospital Hospice Unit.

Please consider making a donation in Bill’s name to Vietnam Veterans of America, https://vva.org/donate/?form=FUNDAVTAZBC

Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill is assisting the family.

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