Clifford Wallace Kilpatrick passed on to his heavenly reward on May 25, 2012, just three and a half weeks after his beloved wife, Colleen. After being married for more than 65 years death could not separate them for long.
Clifford was born in Bradley, Ill., on Jan. 3, 1921, to Dana and Mabel Kilpatrick. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., where as a young boy Clifford sold newspapers on the street corners. The family later moved to the Alanson area.
Following the war, Clifford returned home and married his soulmate, Colleen Casey. Clifford and Colleen raised 12 children. In addition to their own children there were dozens of others who claimed them as Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa.
In the early 1950s, Clifford started the first union Bricklayers Local in Northern Michigan. Clifford was a proud union member and served as secretary of the Local Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen International Union and as president and business manager of the Northern Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council for a number of years. Clifford learned the trade from Dan and Tom Kewaygeshick and his split fieldstone fireplaces are legend in Northern Michigan. Clifford rarely advertised as his work spoke for itself.
Clifford was also very proud of the work he did as a member of the Alanson School Board and later as president of the school board. His years of experience as a union steward served him well while working to negotiate contracts between teachers and school board members and he is still remembered fondly by teachers and administrators.
Clifford was always very active in his church serving as a member of the Parish Council at St. Patrick's in Tampa, Fla. He also served as an usher and catechism teacher at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas, Va., and again as an usher at St. Francis in Petoskey. Clifford was also a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
Clifford is survived by his loving children: Colleen Himelright of Fredericksburg, Va., Linda (Tom) Hogge of Gloucester, Va., Maureen Kilpatrick of Lady Lake, Fla., Casey Kilpatrick of Alanson, Early (Mickey) Kilpatrick of Alanson, Mike (Linda) Kilpatrick of Petoskey, Tom Kilpatrick of Alanson, Mary Poynter of Alanson, Nancy (Mike) Cassidy of Petoskey, Kevin Kilpatrick of Petoskey and Daniel (Sherry) Kilpatrick of Rockford, Mich. In addition, he is survived by his sister, Betty (Bob) Honeysette of Levering, Mich., and 26 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Clifford was preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife, Colleen; his oldest son, Ralph Kilpatrick; his son-in-law, Vince Himelright; his parents, Dana and Mabel; brothers, James, Richard and Ralph; and his sister, Peggy Wolohan.
A funeral Mass and Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, Aug. 5.
The family suggests for those wishing to make a memorial contribution in memory of Clifford, donations may be made to Cornerstone Hospice of Lady Lake, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, Fla. 32778-9983.