Rosalie (Thatcher) Kirkland, 96, of Berne, Indiana, passed away at 7:19 a.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Swiss Village Retirement Community. She was born in Hoaglin Twp., Van Wert County, Ohio, to the late Herbert and Goldie (Carmean) Thatcher. Also preceding her in death were three sisters, Marlyn Callow, Myrna Brittsan and Ruth Riley and three brothers, Graydon, Merlen and Eugene Thatcher.
Rosalie married Floyd W. Kirkland in 1945, a marriage and partnership that spanned 71 years. He preceded her in death in 2017.
Following graduation in 1940 from Wren High School, Rosalie was employed by GE in Decatur, IN and later in Van Wert, OH as Credit Manager for Montgomery Ward Co. She and Floyd operated a small business in Ohio City, OH until he, a WWII Army Air Corp Veteran, was recalled to the Air Force for the Korean War. Together, they elected to remain in the service and she became familiar with many parts of the world. They lived in Japan for six years and upon Floyd's Air Force retirement they spent over ten years in Saudi Arabia where he was employed by Lockheed Aircraft Co. When conditions permitted, Rosalie worked for the government as a Civil Service Employee as a legal secretary or executive secretary and was then employed by Lockheed Aircraft as an executive secretary. Rosalie's travels involved twice circling the world with visits to the Philippines, China, Korea, Thailand, Lebanon, and several countries in Europe and Africa. Rosalie was required to manage the household during Floyd's absence. Her life frequently involved substandard living conditions and the rearing of the children in difficult circumstances especially when Floyd was deployed to remote areas of the world.
During retirement periods in Florida, Rosalie worked as a licensed real estate associate, and was also active in caring for the elderly and the Meals on Wheels program. In the earlier periods of the military, she and Floyd were involved in chapel youth activities.
Rosalie was a member of Volusia County Baptist Church, Orange City, FL, and regularly attended The First Missionary Church of Berne, IN, following their relocation to Berne in 2007.
Those left to cherish her memory are her three sons, Gregory Kirkland (Lt. Colonel USAF Retired) of Ashburn, Va., Jeffery Kirkland (retired police officer) of Deleon Springs, Fla., and Joel Kirkland (sales representative) of High Point, N.C.; three grandchildren, Kacey Kirkland-James, Jason Kirkland and Meghan Kirkland-Meadows; great-grandsons, Kelby James and Seff Meadows; and one brother, Noel Thatcher of Decatur, IN.
Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 29, 2019 at the chapel of Swiss Village Retirement Center, 1350 W Main St, Berne, IN 46711 with Rev. Bill Weiss officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ohio City, Ohio.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at Swiss Village Retirement Center and again 30 minutes prior to the funeral service on Friday.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Arrangements entrusted to Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory. Condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.
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