Ralph Jay Kirkman, age 99, of Licking, Mo, passed away September 18, 2017.
Ralph was born March 26, 1918, at Summersville, Mo., son of Nell Lee
(McCallister) Kirkman and James Thomas Kirkman. He always said, "I'm Nell's youngest
He grew up in Hartshorn, Mo. was co-captain and center of the Summersville's
basketball team, and graduated from there in 1938.
During the Great Depression he and part of his family went to Colorado and
California to work. For a short time following graduation he helped with the
construction of Ft. Wood. He then moved to St. Louis where he worked at Independent
Packing Co. for five years. While employed there he married Vera Beasley on
September 5, 1942, who was the daughter of Earnest and Ida (Martin) Beasley of
Raymondville, Mo. In 1947 they moved to Licking where he purchased land east of
town and started building houses to rent. In 1952-53 he worked at Lincoln-Mercury in
St. Louis on the assembly line. He continued building houses in Licking and later
purchased over 20 mobile homes at one time from Ft. Wood to rent and sell. He built a
trailer park in Licking and later a second park on Highway 63 north of town which he
operated until his retirement.
He enjoyed fishing, traveling, clogging, and square dancing. He and Vera even
traveled in their RV to the National Square Dancing Convention. They also danced in
our state capitol building and belonged to several Square dance clubs.
Ralph is preceded in death by his wife, Vera, of 57 years, his parents, his sister,
Delpha Albright, and four brothers: Bert, Lloyd, Floyd, and James C. Kirkman.
Survivors include his two children: Linda (David) Roberts of Licking and Larry
(Lourdes) Kirkman of Columbia, Mo. six grandchildren: Shane (Stacy) Roberts of
Bolivar, Stacy (Katie) Roberts of Camdenton, Chrissy (Chris) Medlock of Licking, Julie
(Ben) Anderson of Winter Garden, FL, Justin (Melissa) Kirkman of Fountain Valley, CA
and Aaron Kirkman of Columbia, MO.; also, two step-grandchildren: Laura (Will) Arbelo of St. Louis, MO and Wandy Perez of St. Louis, MO. Twelve great-Grandchildren, Mariah (Haden) Stevens, Mackenzie and Megan Roberts from Bolivar, MO; Coleman and Andrew Roberts of Camdenton, Connor, Landon, and Allie Medlock of Licking; Hannah, Abby, Gavin, and Asher Anderson of FL. One step-great granddaughter Juliana Arbelo of St. Louis. One great great-grandson Graham Stevens of Bolivar, a brother-in-law, Verlin (Faye) Beasley of Raymondville; a special nephew and wife, Roger and Carolyn Kirkman of Summersville who frequently visited, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.