December 11, 2012
Cmdr. Darrell Francis Kirkpatrick, USN retired, born March 4, 1929, to John Robert Kirkpatrick and Elizabeth Belt Kirkpatrick in Stennett, Texas. Following a long battle with vascular Parkinson’s disease, he passed away peacefully Nov. 29, 2012, at the age of 83, at the Pine Lake Adult Family Home in Sammamish. His wife Lillian and loving family were at his side.
Darrell gave 24 dedicated years as an officer and a gentleman to his country and the Navy. He entered the Navy Midshipman Program in June 1946 at the age of 17 and was enrolled at Mesa Junior College in Grand Junction, Colo., for two years prior to being transferred to Pensacola, Fla., for flight training. He was commissioned ensign on July 28, 1950, and assigned to Attack Squadron VA35 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte during the Korean conflict.
In 1961, Cmdr. Kirkpatrick continued his education while on active duty at the U.S. Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif., receiving a Bachelor of Science in naval science in 1963. In 1966, he graduated from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., with distinction and simultaneously received his Master of Science in international affairs from George Washington University.