OBITUARY

Thomas "Sonny" Carlton Kirkman Jr.

May 26, 1934September 21, 2018

Thomas "Sonny" Carlton Kirkman, Jr., 84, passed away peacefully at the Hospice Home at High Point on September 21, 2018 after a period of declining health.

He was born in St. Augustine, FL on May 26, 1934, son of the late T.C. Kirkman, Sr. and Harriet Jones Kirkman of High Point, NC. He moved to High Point with his family in 1936 and the family resided on Sunset Drive. He graduated from High Point High School in 1952 and entered Duke University that same year on a NROTC scholarship. In 1956, he graduated with a BS degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. That same year he married his high school sweetheart, Janet Blair, also of High Point.

Having selected Naval Aviation while at Duke University NROTC, he was sent to Pensacola, FL for primary flight training and received his Navy Wings. Upon completion of primary flight training he was stationed in Corpus Christi, TX where he underwent advanced jet fighter instruction and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Jg. In 1958 he was assigned to Jet Fighter Squadron VF-121 based at MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA.

Upon completion of his Navy Commission in 1960, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1964 at which time he was honorably discharged. Having returned to High Point in 1960, he embarked upon a career with electronic test instrument firms Bivins & Caldwell, BCS Associates and finally, John Fluke Manufacturing Company. He retired in 1995.

Thomas enjoyed many hobbies. He was an accomplished classical pianist. He was also a skilled woodworker and handcrafted much of the furniture in his parents’ home at a young age. Later, he designed and made most of the furniture for his own home. During the late 1940’s he built an elaborate O-scale model train layout that was featured in the official HPT&D Railroad publication, “The Signal.” Like his father before him, Thomas maintained a lifetime interest in trains and railroads. In his later years he enjoyed gardening and traveling.

Thomas was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Janet Blair Kirkman in 2017 and his elder sister Shirley Kirkman Osterhaut in 2014. He is survived by four children, Lisa Kirkman Sliwa of Illinois, Thomas Carlton Kirkman III of High Point, William Steven Kirkman and wife Donna of Morrisville, and Christopher Flemming Kirkman and wife Carol of Gibsonville; three grandchildren, Lindsay Nicole and Caitlin Michelle Sliwa and Emma Lorynn Kirkman; a great grandson, Riley Pavol Gencik; sister, Ann Kirkman Carter.

A prayer service will be held 2:00 PM on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 in the Davis Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Floral Garden Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the prayer service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be directed to Hospice of the Piedmont 1803 Westchester Dr. High Point.

Davis Funeral Home is honored to serve the Kirkman family. Online condolences may be made at davisfuneralsandcremations.com

  • FAMILY

  • T.C Kirkman, Sr. & Harriett Jones Kirkman, Parents
  • Janet Blair Kirkman, Wife
  • Lisa Kirkman Sliwa, Daughter
  • Thomas Carlton Kirkman III, Son
  • William Steven Kirkman & wife Donna, Son
  • Christopher Flemming Kirkman & wife Carol, Son
  • Lindsay Nicole Sliwa, Granddaughter
  • Caitlyn Michelle Sliwa, Granddaughter
  • Emma Lorynn Kirkman, Granddaughter
  • Riley Pavol Gencik, Great Grandson
  • Shirley Kirkman Osterhaut, Sister
  • Ann Kirkman Carter, Sister

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, September 26, 2018
  • Prayer Service Wednesday, September 26, 2018
REMEMBERING

Thomas "Sonny" Carlton Kirkman Jr.

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Duke football fan always!

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Biography

Thomas "Sonny" Carlton Kirkman, Jr., 84, passed away peacefully at the Hospice Home at High Point on September 21, 2018 after a period of declining health.

He was born in St. Augustine, FL on May 26, 1934, son of the late T.C. Kirkman, Sr. and Harriet Jones Kirkman of High Point, NC. He moved to High Point with his family in 1936 and the family resided on Sunset Drive. He graduated from High Point High School in 1952 and entered Duke University that same year on an NROTC scholarship. In 1956, he graduated with a BS degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. That same year he married his high school sweetheart, Janet Blair, also of High Point.

Having selected Naval Aviation while at Duke University NROTC, he was sent to Pensacola, FL for primary flight training and received his Navy Wings. Upon completion of primary flight training he was stationed in Corpus Christi, TX where he underwent advanced jet fighter instruction and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Jg. In 1958 he was assigned to Jet Fighter Squadron VF-121 based at MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA.

Upon completion of his Navy Commission in 1960, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1964 at which time he was honorably discharged. Having returned to High Point in 1960, he embarked upon a career with electronic test instrument firms Bivins & Caldwell, BCS Associates and finally, John Fluke Manufacturing Company. He retired in 1995.

Thomas enjoyed many hobbies. He was an accomplished classical pianist. He was also a skilled woodworker and handcrafted much of the furniture in his parents’ home at a young age. Later, he designed and made most of the furniture for his own home. During the late 1940’s he built an elaborate O-scale model train layout that was featured in the official HPT&D Railroad publication, “The Signal.” Like his father before him, Thomas maintained a lifetime interest in trains and railroads. In his later years he enjoyed gardening and traveling.

Thomas was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Janet Blair Kirkman in 2016, and his elder sister Shirley Kirkman Osterhaut in 2014. He is survived by four children, Lisa Kirkman Sliwa of Illinois, Thomas Carlton Kirkman III of High Point, William Steven Kirkman and wife Donna of Morrisville, and Christopher Flemming Kirkman and wife Carol of Gibsonville; three grandchildren, Lindsay Nicole and Caitlyn Michelle Sliwa and Emma Lorynn Kirkman; a great grandson, Riley Pavol Gencik; sister, Ann Kirkman Carter.

A prayer service will be held 2:00 PM on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 in the Davis Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Floral Garden Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the prayer service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be directed to Hospice of the Piedmont 1803 Westchester Dr. High Point.

Davis Funeral Home is honored to serve the Kirkman family. Online condolences may be made at davisfuneralsandcremations.com