Former Lamar Democrat publisher Don Kirkpatrick died March 29 at age 71. Kirkpatrick, the son of former Missouri Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick, owned the Democrat from 1972 to 1974.
When the Kirkpatricks bought the newspaper in 1972, it ended a historic era for the Democrat, which had been published for the prevoius 72 years by the legendary Arthur Aull and Aull's daughter, Madeleine Aull VanHafften:
The following obituary was provided for Mr. Kirkpatrick:
Don W. Kirkpatrick, 71, died on March 29, 2009 unexpectedly at his home in Independence. Don was born January 3, 1938, in Warrensburg, MO son of Jessamine and James C. Kirkpatrick.
Don married his high school sweetheart, Annetta Fraley, on June 23, 1956. He is survived by his wife, Annetta: a daughter, Dee A. Yancey and husband Craig of Holden; and two sons, James K. Kirkpatrick and wife Kristy of Pleasant Hill and Larry D. Kirkpatrick and wife Marla of Warrensburg; 6 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Don attended Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg from 1956-58 and the University of Missouri School of Journalism from 1959-61 before returning to the family newspaper in Windsor. Annetta and Don published The Windsor Review, a weekly newspaper in Windsor, MO in the 1960’s and published The Lamar Democrat, a daily newspaper in Lamar, MO from 1972-74. During these years he was a member and actively involved in the Missouri Press Association.
In 1974 Don became Director of Advertising at The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, and held that position until he retired from the newspaper business in 1998. In 1999 he began his employment with L-3 as a contract employee for the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics in Kansas City, and was employed there at the time of his death.
Don served on the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention from 1986 until 1991, during which time he served on the Word&Way Baptist newspaper committee. He was named as a charter member of the newspaper’s Board of Trustees from 2001 until 2006, serving as chairman for two years. He returned to the Board of Trustees again in 2008 and was currently serving on the Word&Way Board.
Serving the Lord and being with his family were his greatest joys. He leaves a legacy of faith to his wife, family and all who knew and loved him. He loved to work in the yard and enjoyed growing his flowers. He was ordained as a deacon in 1969 and was currently a member of Second Baptist Church in Liberty, MO.
A memorial visitation and celebration of Don’s life will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, April 5, 2009 at the Second Baptist Church, 303 E. Kansas, Liberty, MO. A private family graveside service will be held at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Warrensburg. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Word&Way, 3236 Emerald Lane, Suite 400, Jefferson City, MO 65109-3700 or at www.wordandway.org.