Cover photo for Wallace Kirkpatrick's Obituary
Wallace Kirkpatrick Profile Photo
1927 Wallace 2018

Wallace Kirkpatrick

January 26, 1927 — January 23, 2018

Byron-Memorial service for Wallace will be Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Driftwood Christian Church. Burial will be at a later date at Byron-Amorita Cemetery.

Wallace Earle Kirkpatrick was born in Byron on January 26, 1927 to Earle Kirkpatrick and Amanda Smith Kirkpatrick and parted this life on January 23, 2018 at the age of 90 years, 11 months and 29 days.

His early childhood was spent in the Byron area. As a young boy, he moved with his family to the Perryton, Texas area for a time before moving back to Byron.

Wallace attended the Byron School until his junior year. While a junior at Byron High School, 17 year-old Wallace lied about his age in order to join the United States Marine Corp.

In 1944 he was inducted into the Marines at Kansas City, Missouri and received Infantry Training at Parris Island, South Carolina. He was sent to Saipan before entering the fight at Iwo Jima. On February 19, 1945 the Marines landed on Iwo marking the start of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Wallace was among the third wave of troops to land on the beach where he carried a flame thrower.

After Iwo Jima was declared captured on March 26, 1945, Wallace’s division was sent to Saipan to regroup. While there, the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki leading to the Japanese surrender. He was then assigned to the group tasked with locating and destroying mines that had been placed in the water around the islands. Following that, his division was assigned to destroy gunnery stations. This continued for about eight months.

He was honorably discharged in August of 1946 and returned home to Byron, where he graduated with the class of 1947.

After returning home and graduating, he married Betty Jean Burleson at her home at the Byron Fish Hatchery on June 20, 1948. They shared 69 ½ years together always living in the Byron area.

Wallace retired in the 1980’s after working at, and eventually owning, a sand pit that was started by his father. They pumped sand and gravel and delivered it to many locations, local and statewide. He was a skilled welder and one of his larger projects was welding the pens at the Cherokee Sales Company.

He and his son, Rob, operated a trucking company and later a heavy equipment diesel repair shop. The family managed to work in farming and a cattle operation at the same time.

Wallace is survived by his wife, Betty of Byron and their two children, Rob Kirkpatrick and wife, Louise of Burlington and Ellen “Sis” Rockenbach and husband, Bob of Byron; seven grandchildren, Tracy Granados and husband, Joe of Burlington, Sasha Kirkpatrick of Burlington, Robbie Rieger and husband, Brad of Manchester, Shaunda Bueno and husband, Robert of Clarkdale, Arizona, T.J. Rockenbach and wife, Bridgette of Amorita, Brooke Meyer and husband, Cris of Alva and Alisha Matzke and husband, T.J. of Byron; twenty-two great grandchildren; numerous nephews; nieces and a host of family and friends.

Wallace was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Aylene Lambdin, Jane Alexander and Elizabeth Coulter; infant brother, Robert and great grandson, Trevon Matzke

The family requests no flowers. Your kind thoughts and prayers are gifts they greatly appreciate. Memorials have been established for the Amorita-Byron Fire and Rescue or the Pioneer Spirit Foundation of Byron-Amorita Cemetery through the funeral home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wallace Kirkpatrick, please visit our flower store.


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