Obituary: William “Bill” Dowling Kirkham


William “Bill” Dowling Kirkham, 75, of Decatur, passed away on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. He was born in Mobile, Alabama to Robert Taylor “R.T.” Kirkham, Sr. and Marie Boozer Kirkham. Visitation will be Saturday, June 12, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at The Church at Stone River on Danville Road. Funeral service will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the church. Burial will be at Burningtree Cemetery. Roselawn Funeral Home and Cemetery in Decatur is in charge.

Mr. Kirkham is survived by his wife of 48 years: Brenda; sons: Brett Kirkham of Florida and Bart Kirkham (Amy) of North Carolina; granddaughter: Kayla Grace Kirkham of North Carolina; brother: Mark Kirkham (Wynelle) of Rogersville, Alabama; sisters: Patricia Kight of Leroy, Alabama and Carol Etheridge (Stan) of Thomasville, Alabama; sisters-in-law: Laurice Kirkham and DeAnne Rodenburg; brothers-in-law: Delton Blalock, Maurice Blalock (Mary Beth) and Dwight Blalock (Suzette) several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother: Robert “Bob” Kirkham, Jr. and brothers-in-law: Frank Kight and Carl Rodenburg.

 Mr. Kirkham taught school in Marengo Co. for two years and at Decatur High School for 29 years. He was active in Boy Scouts for 40 years. Mr. Kirkham worked with his hands, from wheat farming in Oklahoma with his family, to water well drilling. He served as a church youth leader and participated in the youth programs through the methodist church. Mr. Kirkham could always be seen helping and serving others. He will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing, loving and learning from him. He received degrees in industrial arts, sociology and psychology from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, continued his education at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where he received a master’s degree in industrial arts education. He also attended the University of Alabama. Mr. Kirkham was honored with many awards from safety in teaching, The Cross and Flame from the Methodist Church and the Silver Beaver Award for his volunteer activities in scouting. His great honors were the 16 eagle scouts during his tenure as scout master.