Jack H. Kirkpatrick

Jack H. Kirkpatrick passed away peacefully on June 19, 2017, at his home in Ridgecrest at the age of 92.

Jack was born Sept. 26, 1924, in Santa Ana. He spent his childhood growing up in Long Beach. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941 as an aviation-engine mechanic. He spent the first few years sailing the world’s oceans keeping the Pacific Fleet’s aircraft mission-ready serving aboard the USS Copahee (CVE-12) and USS Bennington (CV-20), during World War II. He enjoyed such duty stations throughout his naval career as the Philippines; Guam; Corpus Christi, Texas; NAS North Island, San Diego; and Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, retiring from active duty in 1961.

He continued his love of naval aviation in support of numerous projects as a civilian in the Aircraft Department, Targets Division, at China Lake, retiring in 1979 as a senior machinists’ model maker (supervisor).

He was a dedicated family man who truly loved his boys. He taught them at an early age the discipline of maintaining and servicing all things mechanical, a legacy, which continues to carry on today. His love of the outdoors took him on many family vacations over the years from Mexico to Canada and beyond.

He enjoyed such hobbies as photography, building and flying model airplanes, building custom furniture, restoring antique furniture, rock hounding and fine lapidary work along with spinning custom-made parts down on his lathe.

One of his favorite projects was the complete restoration of a 1923 Ford Model T from the ground up. He had an incredible talent for repairing most anything, especially if it had an engine and a chassis, from welding and painting to complete machine fabrication of new parts.

He was a true craftsman in all that he did. Among his proudest accomplishments were his family and his service to God and country. He was a kind and gentle man who always thought of others first. We will never forget the love he placed into each and every aspect of our lives. “Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate. The Watch Stands Relieved.”

Jack is survived by his sons Robert Kirkpatrick (Shirley) and William Kirkpatrick (Loretta) of Ridgecrest; grandchildren Sara Forland, Kettle River, Minn., Josh Kirkpatrick of Olancha, Jay Kirkpatrick of Ridgecrest, Scott Kirkpatrick of Concho, Ariz.. Ariel Welch of Ridgecrest, Michelle LeBlanc of Chicago, Tim Perkins of San Luis Obispo, Russell Nightengale Jr., of Ridgecrest; and numerous great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Jack was preceded in death by the love of his life Anna Mae in 2013 (they were married for 67 years), son James and brothers Jimmie, Lester and Loren Kirkpatrick.

Services will be held July 15 with a 10 a.m. Rosary and a 10:30 a.m. service at St. Ann Catholic Church. Interment will be at Desert Memorial Park. A reception will follow at St. Ann Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in memory of Jack H. Kirkpatrick to the Wounded Warrior Project. Acknowledgements may be sent to: Bill Kirkpatrick, 1940 S. American St., Ridgecrest, CA 93555. — Submitted by the family of Jack Kirkpatrick

Story First Published: 2017-06-30