Burton Lawrence Kirkman was a wonderful, smart, funny, loving husband and father. He died peacefully on February 2, 2022 at age 88. Born on August 13, 1933 in Clinton, IA, he was the youngest of six children of Joseph Spencer Kirkman and Marie Jensen Kirkman. Burt had 5 older half siblings as well. His beloved wife, Ruth Temple Kirkman, predeceased him in 2012. He is survived by his daughter Janet (Scott) Crewson, daughter Sharon (Troy) Bradsher, son Russell (Linda) Kirkman, two grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and sister Jean Ward of St. Joseph, MO.
As a young person, Burt participated in sports such as track and swimming and was the HS Student Body President. Burt attended Cornell College in Mt Vernon, IA, where he met Ruth Temple while working at the dining hall. They were married in 1954. He transferred to the University of Iowa and graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.
He worked for DuPont for 34 years in several roles until his retirement in 1990. During his DuPont years, Burt and family lived in Richmond, VA, Circleville, OH and Wilmington, DE. He was a member of St. Paul’s UMC in Wilmington for 30 years and held various positions there. One service opportunity that was especially meaningful to him in the 1970s was to help settle Vietnamese refugees into the U.S. In 2004 Burt and Ruth moved to the Willow Valley Retirement Communities in Lancaster County, PA.
Burt excelled in many hobbies including writing poetry and prose. Burt and Ruth were avid bell collectors and gave over 100 bell presentations. He was a wood craftsman and built dozens of beautiful cherry furniture pieces. Burt delighted many people with his “fauxtography” – a form of visual punnery.
A small memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s UMC in Wilmington, DE at 11:00 a.m. on March 14, 2022.
Memorial contributions may be sent to St Paul’s UMC, 1314 Foulk Rd., Wilmington, DE 19803 (FBO United Methodist Committee on Relief for disaster response) or sent to Church World Service–Lancaster, 308 E King St., Lancaster, PA 17602 for refugee resettlement assistance. Please visit:
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