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The family and friends of Charles O. Kilpatrick bid a sad farewell to a good man whose quiet decency, fairness, open-mindness, caring and, most of all, love touched us all and will be in our memories always. He was a good son and brother, husband and father, friend, confidant, mentor and ally. He was a respected journalist and community leader for more than four decades.
A small-town boy who learned to work hard growing up in East Texas during the Depression, Charles excelled as an officer in the Marine Corps, as an artillery forward observer on the front lines of the bitter battles on Okinawa during World War II and later as commander of the Marine Reserves' 14th Reconnaissance Battalion in San Antonio.
After working at small newspapers in East Texas, he moved his growing family to San Antonio in 1950 to take a job at the San Antonio Express. Reserved and modest, he rose to become editor and publisher of the San Antonio Express-News, which he guided to preeminence in San Antonio and South Texas before retiring in 1990 in what had become his adopted hometown.
He worked tirelessly to make his new home a place for everyone. He helped improve its parks and playgrounds, campaigned to include minorities and women in work and politics, advocated for better education, and joined in efforts to broaden understanding between communities.
Charles loved the city, and he fought to build a strong, vibrant downtown, moving with his wife, Margie, to live there in 1988. He was passionate about San Antonio's center -- as a place to work, to do business, to live. Perched on a corner overlooking the River Walk and one of downtown's busiest intersections, he relished watching the life below of the city he loved. He and Margie walked everywhere, soaking up street life and making friends.
After retiring from the Express-News, Charles spread his wings once again, and came to adopt a second home: France, where he and Margie would spend a few months a year before returning to San Antonio. He immersed himself in studying French in intensive courses at the Institut de Francais language school in the south of France, in the small coastal town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. He said it was the hardest work he'd ever done, but he loved it -- the school, the teachers, his fellow students and new friends from around the world.
Charles and Margie celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary June. 3. He died at their River Walk home the night of June 26, 2013, just over 91 years after he was born in Fairview, Okla., on June 16, 1922. He was a consummate friend, comfortable with and open to nearly everyone, and he made friends from all over the world. He will be missed.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Margie; sons, Kent Kilpatrick and wife Lucia of Mexico City, and Mark Kilpatrick and wife Sharon of Austin; a daughter, Kye Kilpatrick Fox and husband Louis of San Antonio; grandchildren Conor Kilpatrick of Los Angeles, Ian Kilpatrick of New York, Evan Kilpatrick of Austin, Matthew Koehler and wife Elisabeth of San Antonio, Anna Kye Kilpatrick of San Diego, Cáit Kilpatrick of New York, Sarah Fox of San Antonio, Monica Merino of Las Vegas, Juan Merino and wife Karla of Mexico City, and a close family friend who became like a grandchild, Francoise Greco of France and Israel; great-grandchildren Joana and Nicolás Merino of Mexico City; and numerous nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
SERVICE: A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Monday, July 8, at San Fernando Cathedral. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Village at Incarnate Word, 4707 Broadway, San Antonio 78209.
HONORARY PALLBEARERS: Dr. Ardow Ameduri, Frank Bennack Jr., Michael Casey, Scott Donegan, Thomas E. Drought, Ruben Escobedo, Jean-Francois Greco, Rick Grinnan, Houston Harte, Sterlin Holmesly, Dr. Daniel Juarez, Mansour El-Kikhia, Bernard Kost, Rupert Murdoch, Emilio Nicolas, Rául Ortiz y Ortiz, Robert Price, Jean-Pierre Rodriguez, Dr. Stephen Shanfield, Robert Shivers, Ray Villarreal and Richard Waldman.
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Porter Loring Mortuary - San Antonio
1101 McCullough San Antonio, TX 78212
Published in Express-News on June 30, 2013