Cover photo for William "Bill" Kirklin's Obituary
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1945 William 2023

William "Bill" Kirklin

February 19, 1945 — December 11, 2023

William “Bill” Isaac Kirklin, 78, passed away unexpectantly at home on December 11, 2023.  

Bill was born on February 19, 1945 in Wilmington, NC to parents Isaac Denton (Dennis) and Mary Escue Baber Kirklin. In 1964, he graduated from Gallatin Senior High School in Gallatin, TN. After receiving an invitation to play football, he attended Gordon Military College in Barnesville, GA. Bill cut his college career short by voluntarily enlisting in the United States Army in 1965. In 1966, he married his high school sweetheart, Suzanne Craddock. Bill’s active-duty career included duty stations at Warner Robbins Airforce Base in Warner Robbins, GA, Fort Monmouth in Long Branch, NJ, Fort Richardson in Anchorage, AK, and Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. His proudest moments included active-duty service in the Vietnam War, becoming a Drill Sergeant, and being honored by the city of Long Branch, NJ for saving a young girl from drowning in the Atlantic Ocean.

After Bill’s active-duty career, he, Suzanne, and their young family moved back to Gallatin, TN where he then continued serving his country via the Tennessee National Guard. He gave 17 years of military service to his country.  

Bill also had a lifelong career in outside sales of replacement windows and doors for Energy Saving Products of Gallatin, for his own window and door company, and for B & S Sales in Huntsville, AL. In retirement, he worked leisurely for himself as a driver for Uber and Lyft in the greater Jacksonville, FL area.

Bill was a lifetime Presbyterian. Since early childhood, he attended First Presbyterian Church in Gallatin, TN, where the Baber/Kirklin families attended since the late 1800s. While attending First Presbyterian Church, he served as a Deacon (Class of 1977) and enjoyed playing for their softball team.

Bill was also an avid golfer, spending many hours on the links of Gallatin Country Club and many courses in Georgia and Florida. He was actively involved for many years in the Gallatin Jaycees. He also served at various times in the American Legion, VFW, and the Moose and Elk lodges. On Saturdays and Sundays, Bill could be heard cheering for his Tennessee Volunteers and Jacksonville Jaguars. During the rest of the week, you could find him watching his favorite channel: Fox News. If you wanted to know anything about history, especially about the two World Wars, he was the one to ask! He was an avid reader, historian, and a great storyteller. He also had a great love for animals and his pets were always an important part of his daily life.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents Isaac & Mary and his sister Mary Ellen Kirklin Pitt. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 57 years, Suzanne; his daughters Laura Rhodes (Jamie), Mary Gayle Rice (Kyle), & Kyle Anne Schutter (Doug), his eight grandchildren Bailey Anne Rhodes, Kirklin Rhodes, Caroline Ridgeway, Will Ridgeway, Peyton Suzanne Rhodes, Mason Schutter, Tyler Elizabeth Schutter, & Kavanaugh Schutter; and numerous extended family members and friends.

The family will receive friends at 10:00am on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 in the Broadus-Raines Chapel and funeral services will begin at 11:00am with Dr. Charles Lever, Sr. officiating. At a future date, his ashes will be spread at a location in Gallatin, TN.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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