Mr. Edward J. Kirkland, aged 94, died on the first day of spring, March 20th. Born in McKees Rocks, PA, 2/22/1929, to Edward and Anna Kirkland. He graduated from Timken Vocational High School in Canton, OH in 1947. Ed served four years in the Air Force, including during the Korean War. He then graduated from Kent State Univ. in 1956 with a B.S.Ed.
Ed worked as a music teacher in Tuscarawas County, OH, serving eight different school music programs, including Stone Creek and Baltic Schools. Later, he became the band director for Tuscarawas Valley Junior High, and assisted with the high school band.
After receiving his M.S. in guidance and counseling from Kent State, he worked at nearby Perry High School as a guidance counselor for many years, before retiring in 1983. During his Perry tenure, he served for many years as an elected member of the Tusky Valley School Board.
Ed married his sweetheart Donna in 1956. The couple raised two children, Wendy (Marc) Overlock of Nashville, TN, and Kevin (Susan) of Jackson TWP, OH. Also survived by grandchildren Kristina (Stewart) and Matthew (Chelsey), and great grandson Daniel Edward Kirkland.
After retiring to Deming, NM, Ed and Donna launched a tax and bookkeeping business that served scores of clients for 16 years. Throughout his life, his love of music found him playing in multiple bands including the Jack Halkides Band, the Stark County Community Band, the Ray Fawcett Band, the Silver City Jazz Band, and the Mesilla Valley Concert and Swing Bands. Ed finally retired his trombone at age 90.
He attended Holy Family Catholic Church in Deming, faithfully serving as a lector and usher.
Visitation will be held Friday, March 24, 2023 at 9:30 in the morning at Holy Family Catholic Church, with the recitation of the Holy Rosary to begin at 10 led by Barbara Rios. The Funeral Mass will follow at 11, with Fr. Prakasham Babu Pastor officiating.
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