Virgil Eugene (Jim) Kirkpatrick died at Hendricks Memorial Hospital on April 18 at 5:40 AM. Jim was born April 27, 1938, in Kericho, Kenya. He was the second son of Virgil Leroy Kirkpatrick and Faye Elizabeth, (Craig) Kirkpatrick. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Donald Craig Kirkpatrick and wife Dee, and his sister MaryLynn Dawn Kirkpatrick who died as a child and is buried at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Two brothers remain, Charles Byron Kirkpatrick and his wife Patricia of Upland, Indiana, and Robert Wendell Kirkpatrick and his wife Mary of Spokane, Washington.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 62 years Martha Jean (Fruth) Kirkpatrick of Danville, Indiana. His oldest child Elizabeth Faye Kirkpatrick (deceased) is buried at Kibuye, Burundi. His remaining children are Margaret Alice Kirkpatrick married to Jim Holcomb of Tenino, Washington; Virgil Edwin Kirkpatrick married to Hilda of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Leonard Wayne Kirkpatrick, married to Lora of Charleston, Illinois.
Jim was also preceded in death by his eldest grandson Joel Craig Kirkpatrick of Charleston, Illinois. His surviving grandsons are Philip Mark Kendall and wife Claire Smith of Seattle, Washington and Benjamin Caleb Kendall and wife Sam Elder of Olympia, Washington. His great-grandchildren are Rhoda Jane and Marlowe Birdie, Ben and Sam’s children.
Jim and Martha spent over 40 years as free Methodist missionaries in Africa. They lived in Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya. Jim had many rolls as a missionary to Africa, including teaching, pastoring, Church and mission leadership, Church planter, builder, and his first love pastoral development.
Jim was a friend to all and a stranger to none. He always wanted to know where you were from, your first and last name and what church you were a part of. Depending on how you answer the questions he would softly, but surely encourage you to be persuaded to join the family of God, his family.
There are many across the globe who count Jim as father, mentor, friend, and brother. After retirement, Jim and Martha served in pastoral roles at the First Free Methodist Church of Indianapolis, and most recently at the Danville Rehabilitation Center where they have resided the past two and a half years.
Funeral services will be held April 28th at West Independence Church of Fostoria, Ohio. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. followed by a noon funeral and burial at the Hickory Grove Cemetery in Alvada, Ohio. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 6th at the 1st Free Methodist Church in Indianapolis.
Friends of Hope Africa University is announcing that they are establishing a Memorial Scholarship in the name of Virgil Kirkpatrick. The scholarship, at Hope Africa University in Bujumbura, Burundi, where the Kirkpatricks served for many years, is directed to the Theological School for the preparation of church leaders. Virgil was President of the organizing committee of the university at its founding. Contributions to this scholarship may be sent to: Friends of Hope Africa University, PO Box 580, Spring Arbor MI 49283.