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James McKinley Kirtland

Obituary Condolences

KIRTLAND James McKinley Kirtland, a former businessman and award-winning writer, of Jacksonville and Acapulco, Mexico, died Dec. 1, 2010, in his home in Jacksonville. He was 70. Known to friends and family as JK, Mr. Kirtland was born March 21, 1940, in Hammond, Indiana, to Eugene M. and Fern C. Kirtland. He earned a BS in Business Administration and a master's degree in Psychology, both from the University of Colorado. He married his first wife, Barbara, in 1966. She died in 1979. During the 1960s and early 1970s Mr. Kirtland was the Student Center Director at various colleges including Metropolitan State College in Denver, Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO, and San Francisco State College. In the mid-1970s he became a partner in King James Management, a Denver real estate renovation business, where he met his second wife, Beatrice. They married in 1988. Mr. Kirtland traveled extensively from 1980 to 1985, particularly in the Caribbean, and he visited Acapulco and fell in love with it. Mr. Kirtland later became the CEO and Chairman of CMTS, Inc., a national construction services firm, and the CEO and Chairman of Airport Concessions, Inc., a national retail firm. After he retired from his active role in business in 2005, Mr. Kirtland pursued his passion for writing. He wrote and published several novels, including Choices (2005), and Reunion (2008). He also wrote 15 screenplays, including The Fishing Shack (Best Screenplay, Drama, 2010 Geneva Film Festival); Hampton Court, a television series; Samson - (Sierra Nevada Award, 2010 Mountain Film Festival; Silver Ace Award, 2010 Las Vegas Film Festival); Choices - Reunion; and Choices - The Love Story. He received awards from the Beverly Hills Film Festival and the Newport Film Festival, and was recognized as Best New Writer and Best Drama Writer, from the Action on Film International Film Festival. He had a passion for classic Camaros and Corvettes. He loved skiing and boats. No services will be held, at the request of Mr. Kirtland. His remains will be scattered at his beloved Acapulco home. He leaves behind his wife, Beatrice, step-daughters, Laneze Cooper (Henry) and Lorraine Hoover (David); step-son, Ray Rountree, his mother Fern, his two brothers, Raymond C. Kirtland of Overland Park, KS, and John W. Kirtland (Sharon) of Bloomington, IN; his two sisters Marilyn E. Zweig (Jeffrey) of Avon, IN, and Patricia Crowle of Bloomington, IN; his grandchildren, Henry Cooper IV, Xavier Cooper and Brittany Cooper; Dasan, Laliah, and Kalie Hoover, and Ray Rountree Jr.; nephews John W. Kirtland II (Adrienne), Jeffrey P. Zweig II, Mark Kirtland; and nieces Kasandra Tenbarge (Adam), Melissa Hershey and Megan Kirtland, and a great- nephew, A.J. Tenbarge. Memorials may be made to The .

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Published in the Florida Times-Union on Dec. 5, 2010
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