Mr. William Oscar Kirkland, Jr., 94, of Millry, AL passed from this life Thursday, February 27, 2020 at Wayne General Hospital in Waynesboro, MS surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Waynesboro, MS on Sunday, August 2, 1925 to William Oscar Kirkland, Sr. and Lula Mae Dearmon Kirkland.
Mr. Kirkland served in the United States Army and was a proud Veteran of World War II. He was chosen to participate in Honor Flight South Alabama in 2010. He was taken to Washington, DC to visit the WWII memorials dedicated to honor the services and sacrifices for all WWII veterans. Oscar was in awe of how many people appreciated and respected him and all the veterans. This trip brought back so many memories that he had suppressed for so many years.
Oscar said one of the best things that ever happened to him was when he dropped out of school at the age of 16 and left home to go to work in Mobile, AL at the shipyards. Little did he realize it then, but this prepared him for WWII. In September 1943, one month after Oscar’s 18th birthday, he received a one penny postcard that said he was drafted into WWII. He went through Basic Training for the Army at Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle, FL. He was part of the 1061st Corp of Engineers. Oscar spent 3 years in the Army, 2 were overseas. Oscar traveled to England, France, and the Philippines. He was in Manilla, Philippines supervising a group of Philippine workers building a hospital when he was told he could go home. He was discharged from the Army on April 18, 1946 from Camp Shelby in MS.
After being discharged from the Army he remained to be lifelong friends with Lee Taylor & Clarenton Williams, who were also part of the 1061st Corp of Engineers. They also shared the same birthday month as Oscar. In the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s they all attended yearly Army Reunions held all over the south for the 1061st Corp of Engineers. Once the reunions were no more, they would meet each year to celebrate their birthdays.
After the Army, Oscar started selling insurance. Once he retired as an Area Superintendent for Peninsular Insurance Company, he started raising cattle and farming. He grew the BEST looking and BEST tasting tomatoes around town. He took pride in having the most beautiful garden.
Oscar was a member of the WN Reynolds Lodge in Frankville, AL. He celebrated his 50th year as a Mason in August 2015. Oscar also was a member of the Washington County Shrine Club for over 40 years.
Mr. Kirkland is preceded in death by his mother, Lula Mae Dearmon Kirkland; father, William Oscar (Will) Kirkland, Sr.; 3 brothers, Randolph Kirkland, Uhburn Kirkland, Vinel Kirkland; sister, Vida Mae Touchstone.. He is survived by his loving wife of over 50 years, Harriett Susan (Zukoski) Kirkland; 2 sons, Leonard Randall Kirkland (Janell), Patrick Eugene Kirkland, I (Danit), both of Millry, AL; 2 daughters, Sandra Karen Phillips (Leo) of Verbena, AL, Dawn Kirkland Johnson (Stephen), of Millry, AL; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Visitation for Mr. Kirkland will be held from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Friday, February 28, 2020 at Freeman Funeral Home, 1305 Skyland Drive, Waynesboro, MS. Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Flat Branch Assembly of God Church in Millry, AL with Rev. Charles Allbrooks and Rev. Billy Robinson officiating. Interment will be in Flat Branch Cemetery in Millry, AL.
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