Recording of Services
Kenneth Roger Kirkman passed away peacefully May 8, 2020. He had been in the hospital battling COVID-19 for 12 days, along with his wife Karen. She was able to visit him daily, until she was released from the hospital on May 7th.
Ken was born to Kirby Ernest Kirkman & Zelda Hutchings Kirkman in Salt Lake City. He was an amazing father, husband, grandpa, uncle and brother. He was a friend to all, especially the underdog. He didn't care if you were the CEO or the janitor, he loved everyone. He had a special gift to make everyone feel important. Dogs and children especially loved him and were naturally drawn to him. Most importantly, he always put his family first and he loved them unconditionally.
Ken and Karen were childhood sweethearts and grew up five houses from each other. They attended Highland High School in Salt Lake City. Ken was a track star and held the record for his time in the mile for many years. He loved cars. He still owns the car that he picked Karen up in for their first date – a 1958 Austin Healey Sprite, which he has restored over the years. Ken and Karen were best friends and set an example of true devotion and lasting love. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August of 2018. Theirs was truly a great love story.
Ken's sense of humor was his trademark. He had a special ability to make people laugh. Ken worked in the real estate industry for many years and gained many friends and loyal clients during that time. If you ever bought a house from him, you were probably the recipient of some act of service. He was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities, but he was most loved as Bishop Kirkman.
Ken served in the US Army. He was also an art major at the University of Utah and loved the Utah Utes. He used his artistic talents in many ways, including making floats and creating scenery for road shows. He also loved music and had an extensive collection of vinyl, CDs and downloads on his phone. He was the heart and soul of our family. Many days were spent in the backyard playing games, having barbecues and enjoying time with family. He especially loved creating memories for his grandkids. They affectionately called him "Pop" and they are his treasures. His piñatas were legendary and when the grandkids were young they loved to break them open for the candy. The past few years they began to realize how much time and love had gone into their creation and started keeping them.
To our friends at IMC, thank you for your compassionate care. Thank you for being with our Pop in his final minutes, when we could not be there ourselves. We are thankful for the healthcare heroes around the world, dedicating countless hours and risking their own personal safety to care for their patients.
These are difficult and uncertain times. We hope that when you have a moment, you will hug someone you love and feel our love for you through that person.
Ken is survived by his loving wife, Karen. Daughter, Kortnie Kirkman Aldous (husband Mike, Mayci, Kamay and Lauren). Son, KC Kirkman (wife Tina Elison Kirkman, Kolby, Tyler, Karsan) and his two granddogs, Charlie and Maggie. He is also survived by his sister, Kit Young (Don) and brother Kirby M. Kirkman (Pat). He was preceded in death by his nephew, Travis Young, and his sister-in-law, Christine Kirkman.
Due to corona virus restrictions, we will be having a private graveside service on Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the LDS Missionary Fund or the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
We ask friends and family to click the link below to share a short audio recorded story or memory of Ken.
By the way, "did you hear the one about the…?"
We also would like to share the following video made for Ken and Karen's 50th wedding anniversary.