K. D. Kilpatrick

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Kenneth Dale "K. D." Kilpatrick, Sr.​​

Louisiana State Senator
for District 35 (Jackson, Union,
and Lincoln parishes)​
In office
1972​ – 1976​
Preceded by Charles Clem Barham​
Succeeded by Charles C. Barham​

Born June 14, 1928​
Farmerville Union Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died March 14, 2010 (aged 81)​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Mildred Sue Barmore Kilpatrick, also known as Sue Cook (divorced and deceased)

(2) Anne Burford Kilpatrick​

Children Three from first marriage:​

K.D. Kilpatrick, Jr.
​ Paula K. Kirk
​ Richard Barham Kilpatrick
​ One daughter from second marriage:
​ Melanie Willetts​

Residence Ruston, Lincoln Parish​
Alma mater Farmerville High School​

Louisiana Tech University
​ Landig College of Mortuary Science​

Occupation Funeral home owner​
Religion United Methodist

Kenneth Dale Kilpatrick, Sr. (June 14, 1928 – March 14, 2010), known as K.D. Kilpatrick, was a funeral home owner in Ruston, Louisiana, who served as a Democratic state senator for a single term from 1972 to 1976. He represented Jackson, Lincoln, and Union parishes and served alongside William Denis "Billy: Brown, III (1931-2012), of Monroe in neighboring Ouachita Parish.[1]

Background

Kilpatrick was born in Farmerville in Union Parish, to Edgar Noel Kilpatrick and the former Effie Mae Hicks. Edgar Kilpatrick began a small funeral business in Farmerville in 1927 and also worked as a letter carrier. In 1935, the company opened another funeral home in Bernice, also in Union Parish. On Thanksgiving Day 1944, E. N. Kilpatrick was felled by a stroke and left paralyzed for the last decade of his life. K. D. and his younger brother, Tex R. Kilpatrick, thereafter worked with their mother in the family business.[2]

K. D. Kilpatrick recalls that the stroke "left my father an invalid, although he was to live for ten more years. [Because of] his paralysis, I was forced to become a man overnight. It was during World War II, and there were no adult men to help us. So, as a teenager, I joined my mother in rearing my sister and brother and in keeping our business together."[2]

Career

Kilpatrick graduated from Farmerville High School and attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He graduated from the Landig College of Mortuary Science in Houston, Texas. He was the co-owner of Kilpatrick Funeral Homes, Inc., Central American Life Insurance Company, Inc., and Ashley Life Insurance Company, Inc., prior to his retirement in 2001.[3] The four Kilpatrick funeral homes, in Farmerville, Monroe, West Monroe, and Ruston, were, after K.D.'s death, subsequently owned and operated by his brother, Tex Rickard Kilpatrick (1932-2018) of West Monroe,[4] who holds a degree in chemistry from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and turned down a medical career to join his brother in the management of the funeral home. The Kilpatricks acquired the West Monroe outlet in the 1950s and the Monroe facility in 1977.[2]

K. D. Kilpatrick exerted impact on the funeral industry regionally and nationally. He was a board member of the National Selected Morticians, a past president of the North Louisiana Funeral Directors Association and the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association, and a former member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.[3] ​ He was named "Outstanding Young Man of the Year" by the Farmerville Jaycees. He was a former president of the Farmerville and the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce organizations. He was active in the Trinity United Methodist Church of Ruston. He was a co-founder of Ducks Unlimited in Lincoln Parish. For more than thirty-five years, he was affiliated with the Ruston Kiwanis International. He was also a member of the Masonic lodge and the Shriners and served on the board of two banks and the Louisiana Tech Alumni Foundation.[3]

Kilpatrick was elected to the state Senate in 1972, to succeed fellow Democrat Charles Clem Barham (1934-2010), an attorney in Ruston and a son of former Louisiana Lieutenant Governor C. E. "Cap" Barham. Charles Barham reclaimed the seat in 1976, having won a heated runoff election against fellow Democrat Louise Brazell Johnson (1924-2002), a businesswoman from Bernice.[1] Charles Barham died in Shreveport less than two months after the passing of Kilpatrick.​ ​

Death and legacy

​ Kilpatrick's first wife was the former Mildred Sue Barmore (1930–2009), also known as Sue B. Cook of Shreveport. Her first husband was William Cook.[5]

Upon his death, Kilpatrick was survived by his second wife, the former Anne Burford of Ruston, formerly of Mississippi; four children, K.D. Kilpatrick, Jr., and wife Mitzie of Shreveport, Paula Kilpatrick Kirk and husband, Les, also of Shreveport, Richard Barham Kilpatrick of Farmerville, and Melanie Kilpatrick Jarrell Willets and husband David Willets of Tulsa, Oklahoma; a brother, Tex Kilpatrick and his wife, the former Carole Eady of West Monroe; a sister, Johnnie Nell "Sis" Gorton (1929-2016) of West Monroe;[6] thirteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.[3]

Services for Kilpatrick were held on March 17, 2010, at Trinity United Methodist Church. Honorary pallbearers included then state Senator Neil Riser of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, former Senator Randy Ewing of Quitman in Jackson Parish, and Farmerville Mayor Stein Baughman.[3]

Mayor Baughman, a longtime Kilpatrick friend, said that the former senator was "a great friend to many people and he was so well respected in all areas with a cross-section of people. ... He was the kind of guy that you didn't have to see him or talk to him every day, but you knew he was there. K.D. was a man's man and he's going to be missed by so many people who he had helped in so many ways that none of us even knew about."[7]

Ryan Kilpatrick said that his grandfather "never missed an opportunity to teach his children and grandchildren a life lesson. He always wanted us to work hard and be our best. He had a passion for life and for people. Papaw treated everyone he met with respect and compassion, no matter who they were or where they were from. One of his favorite sayings was ‘leave it better than you found it.’ My grandfather did that in life. He left it better than he found it, and I’m better and we’re better because we found him.”[8]

Kilpatrick was not related to state Senator Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee of Shreveport, who until her death owned a chain of funeral homes in northwestern Louisiana. Neil Riser, a state representative and a departing state senator operates funeral homes in Caldwell and LaSalle parishes.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880- Present (Lincoln Parish). Louisiana State Senate (January 2012). Retrieved on October 8, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 History of Kilpatrick Funeral Homes. Kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com. Retrieved on October 8, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Kenneth Dale (K.D.) Kilpatrick. The Shreveport Times (March 16, 2010). Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
  4. Tex Rickard Kilpatrick. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on October 8, 2019.
  5. Obituaries: Sue Barmore Cook. Ruston Daily Leader. Retrieved on March 19, 2010; no longer on-line.
  6. Johnnie "Sis" Kilpatrick Gorton. Kilpatrict Funeral Homes. Retrieved on October 8, 2019.
  7. Former state senator, businessman K.D. Kilpatrick dies. The Insurance Nation (March 16, 2010). Retrieved on March 18, 2012; no longer on-line.
  8. Monica Crowe (March 15, 2010). Kilpatrick dies at 81. The Ruston Daily Leader. Retrieved on March 19, 2010; no longer on-line.

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