Clifford “Kip” Kirkland, 77, of Machesney Park, Ill., died at home on March 15, 2013, surrounded by his family. He was born Dec. 27, 1935, in Youngstown, Ohio, to the late Cliff and Mary Wyllie Kirkland.
He is survived by wife of 51 years, Diane (Williams) Kirkland; children Paul (Erin), Valerie Lawrence, David (Heather), Todd (Katie) and Scott (Catherine); grandchildren Kelsey (Nathan), Zachery, Paige, McKenzie, Sydney, Lucy, Briana and Julia; and brothers Jerry (Nancy) and Bruce (Sue).
He was preceded by daughter Sandra.
Kip served in the Army from 1955-1958, including the Army Security Agency at Asmara, Eritrea, East Africa. A tireless student, Kip began his career at Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co., graduated with a degree in accounting and industrial management from Lawrence Institute of Technology in Detroit, Mich., fulfilled a successful career in Information Technology with White Farm Equipment and Solvay Animal Health, Charles City, Iowa; Dayton Power and Light, Dayton, Ohio; Camcar Textron, Rockford, Ill.; and Nebraska Public Power District, Brownville.
After reluctantly “retiring,” he worked as executive director of Poplar Grove Wings & Wheels Museum for several years, feeding a lifelong passion for flying.
Throughout his life, Kip eagerly gave time to countless community and charitable efforts, most recently serving for seven years as a Mended Hearts volunteer with Diane at the Swedish American Hospital, Rockford; as an active member of Christ United Methodist Church, Rockford; as a member of the Alpine Kiwanis Club and the newly formed Loves Park Kiwanis Club.
Memorial service celebrating his life will be Monday, March 25, at 11 a.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, Rockford, Ill. Visitation is from 10 a.m. until service time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for benefit of Christ United Methodist Church.
For online register, maps or directions, visit weltefuneral.com.