The Obit For Joe Kirkland

Joe Ed Kirkland

Holman-Headland Mortuary
Dec 04 2011 5:44 PM

NEWVILLE. . .Joe Ed Kirkland, a resident of Newville, died Sunday morning, December 4, 2011, in a Dothan hospital. He was 87.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P. M. Wednesday, December 7, 2011, in the Newville Baptist Church with Reverend Hugh D. Kirkland, Jr. and Reverend Bryan Klobe officiating. Burial will follow in the Newville Cemetery. Holman-Headland Mortuary is in charge of funeral arrangements. The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 6:00 P. M. Tuesday at the mortuary in Headland.

Mr. Kirkland was a lifelong resident of Newville, son of the late Robert Lafayette (Bob) Kirkland and Audrey Mae Kirkland. He was a graduate of Newville High School and attended Auburn University. At an early age, Mr. Kirkland was drafted into the U.S. Army and served his country in Northern Africa and Italy during World War II. After serving in the military, he enrolled at the University of Alabama where he was awarded a baseball scholarship.

After playing baseball at Alabama, Mr. Kirkland played baseball in the minor leagues in the Boston Braves organization from 1948 until 1953. Upon returning to Newville, he became involved in the operation of the family business, Kirkland Brothers, which included a general merchandise store, a cotton gin, a peanut mill and extensive farming interests.

Mr. Kirkland was an active member of the Newville Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon, formerly taught Sunday School, sang in the church choir and also served on most committees and was involved in many other church activities.

Mr. Kirkland was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and was a member of the All Century Team (1893-1993) at the University of Alabama where he excelled as a pitcher. He was a member of the NCAA Regional All Tournament Team for 1947-1948 and the 1950 Coach Tilden (Happy) Campbell All American Team. Mr. Kirkland was preceded in death by two brothers, Oren Kirkland and Jerry Kirkland.

Surviving relatives include his wife, Dr. Marjorie Crews Kirkland, Newville; a daughter, Deborah Kirkland Lawson, Memphis, TN; a son, Joe Ed (Eddie) Kirkland, Jr. and wife, Liz, Auburn, AL; a sister, Lanette Johnson Culbreth and husband, Rudy, Dothan; a sister-in-law, Agnes Shelley Kirkland, Newville; four grandchildren, Kirk Lawson, Kelli Kinney, Amanda Kirkland LeCompte and husband, Jerod, and Nathan Kirkland; three great-grandchildren, Sarana Lawson, Evan Lawson and Jack Kinney; several nieces and nephews.

Serving as active pallbearers will be Tim Slater, Edward Golden, Sidney Owens, Kirk Lawson, Nathan Kirkland and Tim DeVaughn.