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William “Bill” Erle Kirkman, 81, of 1633 Sunset Drive, Peru passed away unexpectedly March 9, 2013, in his home.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Hurst Funeral Home, La Salle, with Pastor Betty Delgado, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in La Salle, officiating. Burial will be at Valley Memorial Park, Spring Valley.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday until time of services in the funeral home.
Bill was born April 23, 1931, in Spring Valley to Thomas and Loretta (Etta Reese) Kirkman. He married Geraldine Krolak on Nov. 22, 1951, in St. Valentine’s Church in Peru.
He graduated from Hall High School in Spring Valley and received a teacher’s certificate from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He did his apprenticeship and got his tool and die papers from Harper-Wyman in Princeton. Bill worked at several area factories including Sundstrand Corp. in La Salle, Bassick’s in Spring Valley, Conco in Mendota and HCC Inc. in Mendota as a process engineer and tooling engineer. He was on the Technical Advisory Board at Illinois Valley Community College for 13 years.
He volunteered as a redcoat at Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru for 16 years and was a member of the Oglesby Elks. Because of his love of children, he served as chairman of the Elk’s Crippled Children Clinic for 13 years.
In addition to being a loving husband, father and enthusiastic grandfather, he was a talented craftsman in wood, leather and more; enjoyed making model airplanes and never said “no” to a request by one his children to help fix, create, design and build just about anything.
Bill is survived by his wife, Gerre of Peru; four children, William (Kathy) Kirkman of Mukwonago, Wis., Lauren (David) Poppie of Bloomington, Kenneth (Lynne) Kirkman of Phoenix, Ariz. and Dennis Kirkman of Higganum, Conn.; five grandchildren, Douglas (Kelly),Nicholas, Rachel, and John (Allyson) Kirkman, and Kristen (Anthony) Warren; and one great-grandson, Johnny Kirkman.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Tom; and a nephew, Tom. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed in his name to the Illinois Elks Children Care Corp., Oglesby Elks Lodge 2360.