Cover photo for Bobby Earl Kirkland's Obituary
Bobby Earl Kirkland Profile Photo
1934 Bobby 2024

Bobby Earl Kirkland

December 11, 1934 — January 11, 2024

Cottonwood

Bobby Earl Kirkland, known affectionately as Bobby to his friends and family and Papa to his grandchildren, was a beacon of joy and steadfastness in the lives of all who knew him. Born on December 11, 1934, in the quaint town of Cowarts, Alabama, Bobby's journey through life was marked by an unwavering commitment to service, love for his community, and a heart that overflowed with generosity. His earthly story came to a gentle close on January 11, 2024, in Dothan, Alabama, after a courageous battle with an extended illness.

Bobby's early years in Houston County laid the foundation for a life characterized by hard work and dedication. A proud graduate of Cottonwood High School, he went on to bravely serve his country in the U.S. Air Force as a Radar Mechanic on C133 Aircraft. Bobby was awarded several honorable badges including the National Defense Service Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, and Good Conduct Medal. With hands skilled in the art of carpentry, he built not just his family home but a legacy of resilience and creativity. His work history spanned various fields, from serving as a Vice President at Farmers and Merchants Bank to working in construction and managing loans. Bobby's versatility and can-do spirit earned him the affectionate title of a "jack of all trades."

His commitment to public service was further exemplified by his tenure as a Cottonwood Councilman for over eight years and his years of dedication as a volunteer firefighter. Bobby's leadership extended to the spiritual realm as well, where he served as Chairman of the Board for Cottonwood United Methodist Church, touching many lives with his faith-filled presence.

Bobby's zest for life was evident in his numerous hobbies and interests. He found solace in the simple pleasures of gardening and the intricate workings of automobile mechanics. A family man at heart, Bobby cherished every moment spent with his beloved wife of 62 years, Grace Kirkland, and his loving daughters, Robin Kirkland (Jimmy) Horn and Sheila Kirkland Brannon. His grandchildren, Cody Horn, Heath Horn, Courtney Brannon, and Grant Brannon, were the apples of his eye, and with them, his legacy of love and laughter will live on.

Bobby's life was rich with relationships, from his brother Wayne (Jean) Kirkland and his sister Betty Kirkland Cobb to his special brother-in-law Jerry Adkins and cousin Lamar Snell and a host of loving nieces and nephews. He was a man who loved people and would seize any opportunity to be surrounded by friends and family, sharing stories that would leave everyone in stitches. His capacity to bring joy to others was matched only by his selflessness and his support for his wife in managing the family store, Grace's Fads n' Fashions.

As we celebrate Bobby's life, we are reminded of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Bobby embodied this sentiment, leaving a trail of lives made better by his presence. He was preceded in death by his adoring parents, G. Clinton and Lettie Pearl Kirkland, his brother Larry, and his brother-in-law Bill, and his niece, Lisa Cobb. Yet, his spirit of kindness and community lives on in the many hearts he touched.

A celebration of Bobby's life will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at Harvest Church with Brother Larry Anderson officiating. Bobby will be laid to rest in Cottonwood City Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church on Tuesday from 10-11 am.

Bobby Earl Kirkland's story is not one of sorrow but a testament to a life well-lived and a man who gave his all to those around him. As we gather to share in the memory of Bobby, let us carry forward the light that he shone so brightly in his time among us. His was a life that proved that the richest treasures lie in the relationships we nurture and the love we share. Bobby, thank you for everything. Your spirit will forever be a guiding star in the lives of those you've touched.


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