Donald Joseph “Joe” Kirkwood 

Published 8:53 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tryon–Donald Joseph “Joe” Kirkwood Joe Kirkwood, age 85 of Tryon, NC, peacefully passed away on Saturday, December 2, surrounded by his loving family. Joe was born in Tahlequah, OK on June 3, 1938, to Amos and Tressie Kirkwood. Joe was a proud “Okie” who as a youth and teenager excelled both academically and athletically. Academically, Joe received many awards including being named the representative for Oklahoma’s Boy State in 1955. Athletically, Joe excelled in multiple sports. His favorite was football and after graduating from Tahlequah High School, he accepted a full ride scholarship to play quarterback at Tulsa University. After an injury sidelined him, Joe began service to his country by joining the Army Reserves. Also, during that time, Joe accepted a position at Northeastern State University to both play and coach football. For Joe, this was a terrific decision because this is where he met the love of his life, the former Lynn Loyd. (The best pass he ever completed!). “That pass” resulted in nearly 62 years of marriage!!

After earning his college degree, Joe accepted a position with Texaco Oil Company in Sales & Marketing and Operations Management. He was extremely proud of the success of his 40 plus year career with Texaco, which included several moves to many states. Along the way, Joe & Lynn made many, many lifelong friends. Upon retirement in 2002, Joe & Lynn moved to RedFox Country Club in Tryon, adding many more cherished friends.

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Joe is survived by his adoring wife Lynn and his 4 loving daughters, Liz (Greg) Breed of Waynesville, NC, Jill (Jim) Shea of Tryon, NC, Katie McLaughlin of Tryon, NC and Jenny (Brian) Gerber of Charlotte, NC. “Pop” was also adored and loved and will truly be missed by his 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his brother J. Scott Kirkwood, and his sisters Rosemary Ackley and Doris Jean Gulagher.

Joe was truly the definition of a Man’s Man. Armed with a terrific sense of humor, contagious laugh and welcoming personality, Joe was one of the most fun people to be around. How ironic that he passed on a rainy College Football Saturday. (His favorite kind of day.) Never boastful about his accomplishments, Joe was known by friends and family as a “Quiet Thunder.” He was our Hero and will never ever be forgotten. 

The Kirkwood family would like to express a deep appreciation for the comfort. compassionate care and sense of peace provided to Dad as his time grew short by the entire staff of Agape Hospice Home in Landrum, SC. 

The details of a celebration of life honoring Joe will be announced in the coming weeks.

In an effort to honor Mom, please consider a donation to the Parkinson Foundation as this was one of Dad’s wishes…..


McFarland Funeral Chapel