"He was a very humble person, so he would never tell you he was the reason it went forward the way it did, but I will say it on his behalf. It was a dream of his and he lived to see it fulfilled."
A positive thinker
Horn said Kirkland was a progressive thinker who never shied away from difficult tasks and sited the county's purchase of the current fiscal court building, installation of a mobile communication system for county workers and adoption of the net profits and payroll taxes among his achievements.
Horn said several things made Kirkland's unique as a modern day politician and person, including a remarkable memory for poetry that enabled him to effortlessly recite verses. However, what he will be remembered for the most, she said, were his priorities.
"Family was absolutely number one with him and the first thing he told me when he came to the office was that if anyone in his family ever called for him to put them through no matter what," Horn said. "He was deeply religious and a very moral person. He was probably one of the most generous people I ever knew. He did well in life, but he gave so much away."
Farmer, developer and businessman
Kirkland worked for IBM for 22 years and was a long-time farmer and land developer. He partnered with David Baker and Jim McGlone to form Baker, Kirkland and McGlone, which handled farm land and developed several local subdivisions.
McGlone remembered Kirkland as a friend and an asset to the community.
"You couldn't ask for a finer, more honest individual as a friend or business partner," McGlone said. "He got a lot going for this county, but he was a great, great man in his entire life. I will miss him."
The visitation and funeral for Kirkland will be Monday at Harrodsburg Baptist Church. His obituary appears on Page 2.