Cover photo for Jerald Kirkland's Obituary
Jerald Kirkland Profile Photo

Jerald Kirkland

March 17, 1935 — September 17, 2022

Vernal

Jerald Kirkland

Jerald Marvin Kirkland

March 17, 1935 – September 17, 2022

Jerry was born in Santa Maria, California, on St. Patrick’s Day of 1935. He was preceded in death by both parents, Earl Kirkland and Pauline Sargent, two brothers, Alvin and Tom Kirkland, and a talented and devoted daughter Robyn Turner. He survived by his wife, traveling companion, fishing buddy, and best friend, Janeall Smuin Kirkland and by his two bright and beautiful grandchildren, Daniel Turner of El Paso, TX and Kayla Turner of Boston, MA. In addition, his brother Ted (Darlene), Bakersfield, CA, brothers-in-law, DeVon Smuin (Sandra), Levi Smuin, Dan Smuin (Gayle), and sisters-in-law Jackie Robbins (Gale), Bonne Lawson (Tom), along with bonus daughters Launa Peterson (Walter), Karen Martinez (Fidel) and Marianne Boren (Bruce).

Jerry was raised in Bakersfield, California and attended Bakersfield High School and spent one year at Bakersfield College. He had fond memories of his years as a Bakersfield driller and was one of the founding members of R.O.D.E.O. (Really Old Drillers Eating Out), a monthly get together of old BHS classmates. In his one year at B.C., he became an accomplished pinochle player and quick to admit that he accomplished little else that year. He graduated from Orange Coast College with a degree in petroleum technology in 1955 and spent 10 years with a major oil company before graduating from California State University Fresno in 1966. He received an M.A. and an administrative credential from the same institution in 1971. He spent 30 years as a teacher and administrator in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, retiring in 1996. In his post-retirement years, he remained close to public education by serving for several years as an adjunct lecturer and supervisor of student teachers for Cal State University Bakersfield. As an avid reader, he had a long running love affair with the characters and events of the American Civil War and have visited, with his wife, all the major battle sites. He was instrumental in the formation of the Bakersfield Civil War Round Table, discussion group that for years met each month to share facts and opinions relative to that period of American history. He was also interested in the history of school districts in Kern County and in a project for the office of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, spent countless hours poring over dusty board minutes searching out and then summarizing the significant events in the development of each district. That volume of history is often quoted by scholars around the county in publications.

 In recent years he enjoyed camping and fishing in the mountains of Utah with his extended family. We would like to think Mindy, Tyler, and Kris of Zion’s Way Hospice of St. George, Utah, and Connie and Francine of Canyon Home Care & Hospice of Vernal, Utah, for the loving care and friendship this past year. Private family services will be held at a later date.

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