Bob Kirkpatrick passed away on April 16, 2015, at the age of 87. He was at home with his family. Bob was born and raised in Newburgh and would often speak of the history associated with the town that he held dear, and he was proud to be a lifelong resident.
Bob was a self-made man from early in his life, joining the US Navy to be in World War II at the age of 17. Bob spent many days in the Pacific on the USS Shangri-La and would incorporate stories of his time on the ship into many of his conversations, including how he and Admiral McCain became confidants during their time at sea together. He spoke with pride about having the responsibility of operating all of the ship's boilers to power the vessel through the Panama Canal at the age of 18 and about gaining the respect of those with whom he served.
Bob married Linda Jean Case in 1965 and with her devoted support they created an appraisal company together and worked side by side for many years. Linda's encouragement led Bob to become active in town politics and he became councilman in the Town of Newburgh in 1972. In 1984, Bob was elected to the position of Supervisor of the Town of Newburgh. With a political career of nearly two decades, he was instrumental in getting sewer service in the Town of Newburgh, obtaining a post office for the town, as well as numerous other projects for improvement for the town. He was also a firm supporter of the town police department. He coined the phrase "Crossroads of the Northeast," promoting the fact that the town's location was ideal for, in his own words, "small and medium-sized businesses which can bring new jobs and tax rateables to the township" while still maintaining the delicate environmental balance of the town and preserving the rural and affordable lifestyle it offered.
Bob was an avid fisherman, trout fishing in the Esopus Creek on the banks of the camp where he spent weekends with his family in Mount Tremper, and fishing and ice fishing in Orange Lake and Chadwick Lake in his hometown. After retirement, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of flying, inspired by the planes landing and taking off from the aircraft carrier upon which he was stationed during the war, by obtaining his pilot's license. He took pride in taking people on trips in his Piper Warrior airplane. He was a storyteller and could talk to everyone he met about a variety of topics and he took delight out of making people laugh with him.
Bob is survived by his wife of fifty years Linda; his daughter, Lynne Lewis and her husband, Bobby of Palm Bay, Florida; his son, Robert J. Kirkpatrick, III and his wife, Toni, and his daughter, KC Kirkpatrick and her wife, Christy. In addition, he is survived by his grandsons: Cameron Kirkpatrick and Robert J. Kirkpatrick, IV. Bob was predeceased by his father, Robert J. Kirkpatrick, Sr., and his aunt and uncle, Gertrude and Irving Avery.
Visitation for family and friends will take place Sunday, April 19th from 2 to 6 p.m. at White & Venuto Funeral Home, 188 North Plank Rd., Newburgh.
Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday, April 20th at the funeral home. Burial to follow at New Hurley Cemetery in Wallkill. A reception to follow to celebrate the life of a larger than life man.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, 800 Stony Brook Court, Newburgh NY 12550 in appreciation of their tireless work.