Manuel W. (Bill) Kirklin, 78 born Nov. 7, 1933, made his transition on October 9, 2012, at Research Hospital Hospice Center in Kansas City, Mo., after a long struggle with cancer. Well-loved, admired, respected, adored, and sorely missed, he is survived by his wife of 55 years (married Sept. 14, 1957) Dorothy Miller Kirklin of Leawood, Kan.; their son, Ken Kirklin and Ken's wife Michelle, his grandchildren, Lucas and Alexis of the Kansas City area; and siblings Bob Kirklin, Vivian Casey, Dr. Patricia Delapena, and Sandy Verrall, all of California. Bill is also survived by all the young people (and old) whom he mentored in one way or another throughout his lifetime, who love him as their substitute dad, teacher, and guiding light. Bill was born in Detroit, Mich., and served in Korea as a Medic in the Air Force. He graduated from Long Beach State College in Long Beach, Calif., with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Minor in Physics. Bill's scientific, inquisitive mind brought him employment as a Computer Systems Analyst with the Aerospace Industry, specifically with Lockheed, Collins Radio, and NASA. He retired from the US Dept. of Agriculture. His was an amazing mind, a loving heart, a thoughtful logic, a spiritual soul, a volunteering hand, and an insightful intuition. He enjoyed his time volunteering for the ARE and other groups dedicated to spiritual enlightenment and some unconventional philosophies. The Memorial Service for Bill Kirklin will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at his home church, Southminster Presbyterian, 6306 Roe Avenue, Prairie Village, Kan. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given to Southminster Presbyterian Church.
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Published by Kansas City Star on Oct. 18, 2012.