Billie (Bill) Wayne Kirkpatrick, 1931–2023

Billie “Bill” Wayne Kirkpatrick passed away on April 4, 2023. He was 91 years old. Bill was born on June 8, 1931 on the plains of Missouri to loving parents Elva Jane West and Lewis Roosevelt Kirkpatrick. These were difficult days of drought and depression that eventually led the family to move to California in 1934. Except during a brief time living in Richmond, Calif. Bill lived in Exeter, Calif. and attended Exeter High School (1949). 

Billie “Bill” Wayne Kirkpatrick1931–2023

Billie “Bill” Wayne Kirkpatrick

In September 1947 he was introduced to Verna Ruth Thomas and the rest, as they say, is history. They married on March 18, 1950. Separated only in death, they enjoyed 73 years of love and friendship. Even though his memory for dates had failed him, when recently asked how long he had been married, his reply spoke volumes, “Not long enough.” Bill adored Verna. Together they share three children Richard (Sue) of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada, Larry (Elise) of Bentonville, Ariz. and Tammy (Richard) of Exeter, Calif. Their family legacy includes 7 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

He would be the last to tell you life was all sunshine and roses. He understood the value of hard work, something he learned from his father and passed on to his children and grandchildren. Decisions were guided by his faith in God and desire to bring Him glory. He would tell you choosing Jesus was his best decision, and it changed everything. Life was full of challenges and blessings, and he rejoiced in both.

Bill was the epitome of a people person. Strangers were few and far between. He could talk to anyone. He loved to engage, share stories and find a common connection. He made time for others and they valued and important. If circumstances required hard truth, he knew how to speak the truth in love. He was a trusted friend and confidant and had a knack for making others laugh. His life exuded service to others. Bill cared deeply for the elderly and served faithfully as an elder at the Exeter Church of Christ. He also invested his heart and soul in the creation and operations of the Exeter Manor House.

Some of his favorite things, in no particular order, include western adventures with Louis L’Amour, sitting for hours at the rock watching the waves roll in at Morro Bay, spring time in the Mojave Desert riding dune buggies, and Mothers Iced Oatmeal Cookies or Vienna Fingers with an iced cold Coca-Cola. He took particular joy in being the first driving instructor for his children and later grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the golf cart. 

We were loved exceptionally well by a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who knew the source of love itself. Through our loss we celebrate his life and legacy and find comfort in our common hope. 

In lieu of flowers, donation in memory may be sent to Exeter Christian Services Inc. – Manor House 710 Lenox Ave. Exeter, CA 93221. Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel in Exeter. Online condolences may be sent to the family through

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