William “Bill” Alexander Kirkland, Jr. ’62

William “Bill” Alexander Kirkland, Jr., 83, passed away July 2, 2024. He was born in Durham, NC to the late William “Buck” Alexander and Helon Wilkerson Kirkland. In addition to his parents, Bill is pre-deceased by his son, Kirk Kirkland, and brother-in-law, Bob Carter.

Bill was educated at Calvert School (now Durham Academy), George Watts Elementary, and Carr Junior High. He was a member of Durham High School’s Class of 1958. He graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in English in 1962.

Bill started his career as a reporter for the Durham Sun before moving to sports reporter for the Fayetteville Observor. He returned to Durham as city editor for the Durham Morning Herald. He then took a four year detour from newspapers to work in public relations for Broyhill Furniture Industries in Lenior, NC.

In 1979, he returned to newspapers and began a 22 year career with Worrell Newspapers. He spent his first year as associate publisher for the Lenoir News Topic. He moved from there to being publishers of the Southwest Times in Pulaski, VA; the Greensburg Daily News in Greensburg, IN; and the York County Coast Star in Kennebunk, ME. He concluded his career with Worrell at the Daily Progress in Charlottesville, VA while being named a Worrell general executive in 1979 and vice-president in 1986.

After retiring from Worrell Newspapers, he started Kirkland Newspapers, Inc. (KNI). He owned weekly newspapers in Wisconsin, Maine, and North Carolina. He started two weeklies in North Carolina.

Bill wrote Eddie Neville of the Durham Bulls – a book about his childhood hero and his hometown baseball team. While researching and writing his book, Bill connected with many former teammates of Eddie Neville. In 1993, Bill was instrumental in helping the Durham Bulls put together a reunion of former players.

Bill was a member of the Jaycees and Rotary. He served as United Way Chairman in Pulaski, VA and as Chairman of the Charlottesville and Albemarle County Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Bill is survived by his wife, Ann Carter Kirkland; daughter Elizabeth Kirkland Sickles (Robert); grandchildren: Alexandra, Kari (Phillip Bader), and Michael Sickles; Coley, Mimi, and Kate Kirkland; cousins: Linda Nelson Davis, Susan Nelson Dox (Allan), Cathy Nelson Raddatz; brother-in-law Bill Carter ( Jo Lene) and sister-in-law Cindy Carter; and niece Jo Carter (James Dees).

Cecilia Johnson, Sharon Turrentine, and Chastiny Reid were Bill’s caregivers in his final years battling Alzheimer’s Disease. Their professionalism, empathy, and patience, helped ease Bill’s life. They also provided much needed support to his immediate family.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, July 11th at 2pm at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Emily Wilkes officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church, 927 W. Trinity Avenue, Durham, NC 27701; Kirkland Family Scholarship, Davidson College, 209 Ridge Road, P.O. Box 5000, Davidson, NC 28035.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. in Durham. Online Condolences may be sent to www.clementsfuneralservice.com

Journalists have traditionally used -30- to indicate the end of an article. Bill Kirkland was proud of his newspaper career – and he could write. Oh, how he could write.