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Our lovely and lively mother, Ann Virgene Shupe Kirkpatrick, passed away unexpectedly on February 21, 2014, at Duke University Medical Center, exactly two months short of her 91st birthday.
A resident at The Forest at Duke in Durham, NC, Ann was born April 21, 1923, in Ashville, Ohio. Her father, Lloyd Merle Shupe Sr. (1886-1934), was Professor of Botany at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Her mother, Lillian Marie Balthaser (1893- 1983), was a graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and a writer and editor for The American Lutheran Church in Columbus.
Ann began her public school education when she was only four years old. Despite her young age, within the year she was advanced to second grade. She graduated from Bexley (Ohio) High School at the age of 16, and enrolled at Capital University, majoring in Speech and Drama.
It was at Capital that Ann met our father, James Russell Kirkpatrick (1920-1984). They were married May 29, 1943, as Jim, by then a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps, was about to be deployed to the Pacific front.
Their three children, Susan Kay (Ernest E. Kundert, MD) of Durham, NC, James Lloyd of Columbus, Ohio, and William Bruce of Durham, NC, as well as their grandson, Benjamin Harding Hoffman (Kim Terrell), of Mesa, Arizona, all survive. Ann was predeceased by her brother, Lloyd M. Shupe Jr., and her nephew, Douglas H. Shupe. She is also survived by her treasured niece and nephews, Jan W. Spitzer, David M. Shupe, Richard L. Shupe, Jane Shupe Higgins, and their spouses, children and grandchildren.
In 1965, after 22 years as a devoted wife and mother, Ann re-enrolled at Capital University, fulfilling her promise to her mother to complete the degree program interrupted by her marriage during World War II, and graduated with a degree in Speech and Communications in 1968.
Ann and Jim moved to McLean, VA in 1968, where she was an active member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, a trainer for the AARP Reminiscence Program, and a volunteer usher for 28 years at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. She retired to The Forest at Duke in 2001. Until the end, Ann was active in The Forest Singers, the play-readers and current events groups, and with her Monday Pub Night friends. In these, her boon companion, Thomas Eliot Frothingham, MD (1926-2012), shared her passions and enlivened her days.
We are so proud of her, and so inspired by her courage, persistence, and indomitable spirit in the face of increasing pain and disability as she aged. We are in awe of her gift for making friends, for rolling with the punches, and for always looking forward to the next good thing. We will miss her intensely.
The family invites Ann's friends to join them at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1200 West Cornwallis Road, Durham, on Sunday, March 2, at 4 p.m., as her remains are interred.
Memorial gifts may be directed to the James R. Kirkpatrick Endowment at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, or Partner for Surgery
a medical mission serving rural Guatemala.
The Kirkpatrick family is under the care of Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home, Durham, NC. Online condolences may be submitted by selecting obituaries at
Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home - Durham
1005 West Main Street
Durham, NC 27701
Published in Toledo Blade on Mar. 2, 2014