of West Memphis, AR
March 8, 1937 - January 16, 2022
Roy Kirkland, 84, of West Memphis and formerly of Barton and Portland, Arkansas, transitioned from this world to peace and eternal life on January 16, 2022. Mr. Kirkland, was married to the late Dorothy Rauls Kirkland for 50 years, and was the son of the late Roy and Frankie Jo Kirkland of Portland.He is survived by a sister, Betty Faye Gulledge of Springdale, Arkansas, a daughter, Dr. Susan Newsom and husband, John Newsom, of West Memphis and Summerville, South Carolina, his son, Lee, and his wife, Dewanda Kirkland, of West Memphis, Arkansas. He also leaves four grandchildren, Ann Lyles and husband, Steven Lyles of North Charleston, South Carolina, Liz Wong and husband Kenton Wong, Memphis, Tennessee and Austin, Texas, Kaelyn Kirkland of West Memphis, Arkansas, and Byron Kirkland of Aieia, Hawaii, a niece and a nephew, and one great grandchild. He is also survived by his special friend, Dr. Barbara Wood of Hot Springs. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of West Memphis. Roy was a career educator who retired after working 48 years as a teacher and administrator in the public schools of Arkansas. During his tenure he worked 8 years in the Woodlawn School District and 40 years in the Barton-Lexa School District, five as high school principal and 35 as superintendent. Roy earned a bachelor's degree from Arkansas A&M College and a master's degree and administrator's certificate from the University of Mississippi where he was inducted into the Alpha Delta Kappa honorary educator's fraternity. He began the legacy of three generations of graduates from Ole Miss. He also was a veteran of the United States Army National Guard. Throughout his career he served and held leadership positions in several professional and community organizations. As a member of the American Association of School Administrators and the Arkansas Administrators Association, he served a term as president and on many boards throughout his tenure. He was a member and served on the executive board of the Arkansas Activities Association. His stint as a member of the East Arkansas School Masters Club included time as the organization's president as well. Roy was a founding father of the Great Rivers Educational Service Cooperative and from the beginning of its inception in 1985 until his retirement in 2008 he served as the president of its board. As part of his belief in investing and giving back to the community, he served other agencies that supported education. The Phillips County Developmental Center was of particular interest to Roy. He was a dedicated member of the board and supporter of the Center and its Delta House even up until the time of his death. He assisted the agency by providing support as president of both boards during his lengthy service. During his retirement years he also served as board secretary. He served the Board of Visitors of Phillips County Community College (PCCC) for 17 years. During his PCCC board tenure the college transitioned to Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas. His community service also extended to the board of Phillips County Chamber of Commerce. Roy and his wife, Dorothy, both held in high regard the promotion of academic excellence. As a testament to this, Roy served at many levels of the state and national Beta Club organizations while Dorothy was a school chapter sponsor for 38 years. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Beta Club for over 30 years, serving as its chairman for 18 years. He was a member of the National Beta Club Board of Directors for 18 years and served one term as national board chairman.As an avid sportsman, Roy enjoyed watching all types of sports, but watching his son play and coach were two of his greatest pastimes. Watching Cardinal baseball (when they were winning) was another enjoyable spectator activity. Arkansas Razorback football, basketball, and baseball were also teams he enjoyed supporting.In honoring his life, the family request instead of sending flowers that contributions be made to the National Beta Club Scholarship Fund, 151 Beta Club Way, Spartanburg, SC 29306-3012. Due to Covid pandemic, private graveside service for immediate family will be held with a celebration of life to be determined later this year.
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Kirkland. I would visit with him at the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators. My mother served under his leadership for years.
I knew and worked with Roy 30 years. His dedication to families of the Delta was sincere and long lasting. Many of the programs will last for years to come. It was my honor to have known him as a friend and a professional. Please accept my deepest sympathy. Tom Nosal UAMS
I was honored to serve with Roy on the National Beta Club Board of Directors. He was a special friend.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Beta Club we extend our deepest sympathy to the family.
Rip Mr Kirkland, we the class of 1982 would like to give our deepest condolences to my classmate Susan and little brother Lee .
So sorry to hear about your loss. I served with Roy on the Arkansas Beta Council and as his Vice Chair when Larry Nowlin retired. I became Chair of the Arkansas Council when Roy retired. Roy was an outstanding leader in every since of the word. He was admired and respected by everyone in the Beta Family. He genuinely cared deeply for all students and particularly Beta kids. He taught me so much about Beta and was a great friend and mentor. We will all miss him.Jerry Newton
Lee and Susan I am so sorry for your loss
Lee and Susan I am just hearing about this. Man what a legacy! I can’t think of anything better than to support the Beta Club. Our prayers are with you and your families. Bob White
Lee, Just hear about your Dad passing. So sorry for the loss. Prayers to you & your family.
Susan, I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. Kirkland. He was a wonderful person. I know everyone will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I was lucky enough to spend 30 yrs. with Roy on the Arkansas Beta Council and eighteen of those as his right hand as assistant director. Roy always placed the welfare of the students above all. I will always cherish this time with Roy, the talks, the laughs and most of all the knowledge he shared with me. RIP Roy and prayers for Lee and the rest of the family.
Prayers for all Mr. Kirkland’s family. He was a great leader and educator.
So proud of what you accomplished and will miss you!
So sorry for yalls lose. He was a outstanding person. Prayers for you all. Evelyn Hudman
Our travel and family chats will definitely be missed. Such a kind soul. You will definitely be missed.
My prayer is that your faith and belief in God ALMIGHTY sustain you.
Mr. Kirkland was a leader, an educator, and an advocate for education. He was able to turn a vision into reality.
Mr. Kirkland provided guidance to so many students during his lifetime. He left a wonderful mark on this world. Ours prayers are with his family and friends.
A 1978 alumni of Barton High School ! May the God of peace be with you all.
A true friend. We traveled together for 40 plus years to educational events. A man that was totally involved with young people for his total career. A educator in every sense of the word. Roy will be missed by those that knew him.
My deepest condolences 💐 to the Kirkland's 🙏🏽♥️💪🏾🩸
RIP. Praying for the family.
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
May the Lord wrap his Loving Arms around ya'll at this time. Mr. Kirkland was a fine person while our time at Barton.
My deepest condolences to the family
Praying for the family.
My prayers and condolences go out to the Kirkland Family. Mr. Kirkland was my high school principal and I appreciate him for being that positive role to all of us as educators. RIP.
My sincere condolences to Mr Kirkland’s family and friends. RIP…..
Deepest condolences on your loss. Prayers for your peace
Heartfelt prayers & our deepest condolences to the Kirkland & Newsom families on the passing of Mr. Roy. We feel blessed to have shared with him the joining of our families together through Liz & Kenton’s wedding, & will fondly remember him always.
Sending heart felt condolences to the family. I worked under Mr. Kirkland's leadership for 3 years at Barton Elementary.
You will be greatly missed Mr. Roy Kirkland Jr.I remember your favorite saying that I liked was: I’LL TELL YOU WHAT!!!!
Sending my sincere condolences to the family. RIP! 🙏🙏🙏
So sorry to hear of Mr. Kirkland’s passing. He was a wonderful Administrator for Barton School District. He was the Principal when I was High School Secretary . He and Mrs. Kirkland were precious people . My thoughts and prayers for the family. God Bless you all 🙏🏻
Dr. Susan, I’m sending love and condolences in the passing of your father, Mr. Kirkland. He was always all smiles and and a joy to be around. The true example of a gentleman. The love the two of you shared was quite apparent and I know he will be missed dearly.Praying for you and family that you will experience peace and contentment.❤️Hazel V Wallace
A true legend. I am proud to call him my friend and to have served on his all female. School board at Barton-Lexa school district. He was tough but always fair. He will be greatly missed.
May God bless this family with comfort, strength and peace. They touched so many of us at Barton and the community.
Susan, Lee, and familyI wish to offer my sincere condolences and prayers for your family at this time of great loss. Mike
Was so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Kirkland. He was a great man to work for and had the respect of his employees. He not only worked for this school to make it the best...he lived in this community and wanted to improve it! I'm honored for the opportunity I had to work for him and with Mrs. Kirkland...he was "the boss" but still knew how to make you feel comfortable talking and joking around with him. After he left Barton...when I ran into him he had that big smile and a hug eveytime!Rest in peace Mr. Kirkland!
Condolences in your time of loss.
Roy was an outstanding educator a great AAA Board member a friend to many! Prayers for his family.
We were so saddened to hear of Mr. Kirkland's passing. He was a wonderful superintendent at Barton and gave so much of his time and talents to the school, church, and community. May God's peace and comfort surround the family during this time.
I’m extremely sorry to hear about Mr. Kirkland. Praying for your family.
So sorry for your loss prayers of peace and comfort during this time
Susan and Lee and family, my sincere prayers and condolences are with you at this time. I got to know your father after your parents moved to West Memphis, and he was a true gentleman. May God’s peace and blessings be with you.
He was my teacher & principal. A fine man & all in fir education. He & Dorothy were friends to good friends to our family. She grew up near us & my mom taught with them. Wonderful legacy from both.
Mr. Kirkland was a great mentor and friend to many people in the State Of Arkansas. I loved talking sports with him and especially high school football rules regarding previous games. Being a High School football Officials for many years I really enjoyed calling ball at Barton High School. My mother was from Holly Grove Arkansas and as a kid I went tom many games, Holly Grove versus Barton. We all are going to miss him very much. Prayers and blessings to Mr. Kirkland's family.Sincerely,Andy and Sherri Luttrell
May God bless and comfort the family during this time of loss.
My deepest sympathy & prayers for the family. The world lost a great man, but I know Miss Dorothy is so happy to be reunited with him. The Kirkland's were wonderful people to me & my family. Growing up, I could always count on a love & kindness from the both of them. Mr. Kirkland was a wonderful man. He will be greatly missed by all.
Lee, my condolences to you and your family. My prayers are with you all.
Mr.Kirkland was a great superintendent during the time I was at Barton. He will be missed by everyone at Barton school.
Lee and Susan I am so saddened by the loss of Mr.Kirkland. I am proud to say that I went to school at Barton under his leadership. He was a good man. I know Coach K he was really proud of you and you remind me so much of him standing up in the gym or sitting in that chair by the door in the mornings. Praying for you and your family during this time. Love, The McGee Family
I was saddened to hear of the loss of Mr. Kirkland. He was very respected as superintendent of Barton and in the community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
So very sorry for your loss.
The loss of a very good man and educator. Some things I remember about him are : Hard working , focused on giving us the best education , disciplined with himself and us, non partial in his actions and decisions , and if memory serves me well , Woodlawn is where he met Dorothy while she was teaching there and truly they were a fit match for each other .
So saddened to hear about this. My sincere prayers and condolences go out. So many memories are brought to the service. He was a kind man and no nice to all.
While we were at Barton, Mr. Kirkland and I were originally brought together for academic purposes I suppose, but through the years, every time I would have an opportunity to see and visit with him, his views and perspectives always provided me with a wealth of new knowledge. I will miss him as one of my mentors and friends!
My deepest sympathy with the family. Mr Kirkland was a great superintendent while I attended Barton High. He will be remembered by many. Prayers for all!
David and I were both shocked and saddened when we heard about Mr. Kirkland’s passing. He was a great leader for our school and also in our community. He worked many years to promote Barton as a great school with outstanding educational and athletic opportunities. Rest In Peace, Mr. Kirkland. You have earned it!
My deepest sympathies and respect. Peace be with you at this sad time. Mr. Kirkland was a fine leader in our Community and Barton School. I thought very highly of him.
Sorry for your lost bless the family and may God give you what you need to get through these times
So sadden to hear of Mr. Kirkland's passing. My deepest condolences to the family.
Words cannot begin to express how sad it is to hear the news of Mr. Kirkland passing, but we know he has moved on to a greater place and is with Ms. Dorothy again.May God keep his loving arms around all of the family and loved ones during this difficult time.
R. I.P, enjoyed our visited @ Anytime Fitness ❤️🙏🏾
I was crushed when I heard this. Roy was such an awesome man and educator. Prayers for you, Susan, Lee, and the family.
My prayers are with family and friends! So sorry to hear this! RIP Mr. Kirkland.
Sorry for your loss. Mr. Kirkland was a great school man. He did a lot for Barton and Phillips county and I enjoyed my 36 years working with him. He always did things to help students succeed. His influence will last forever. God bless family and friends during this difficult time.
Prayers for all of the family! Mr. & Mrs. Kirkland were such wonderful people and amazing role models to the youth that passed through their lives.
My thoughts and prayers are with his precious family. Mr. Kirkland was my Superintendent at Barton, and I adored him. He expected the best from his faculty, and he made sure we delivered. May he Rest In Peace. ❤️☦️
I went to school with both Susan and Lee. Susan was in my class and I played ball with Lee. Both were amazing young people as I am sure they are amazing adults as well. I have a lot of respect for this family as they were extremely good to me. I know Mr Roy was a very respected man. I’m very proud to have gone to a school district that he was the leader of. My condolences go out to family. Especially Susan and Lee. God BlessJoey Drennon
I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for the family!
So sorry for your loss. He was a good man. Praying for your family.
Sorry for the loss of your loved one
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual shine upon him; may his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God Rest In Peace. Amen
So sorry to hear the passing of Mr Kirkland. What a GREAT MAN! Praying for the family🥰
Randy had the privilege of working with Mr. Kirkland on several boards in Phillips County. I had the honor of teaching for him at Barton. Apart from his professionalism, Mr. Kirkland was 1 nice man who actually listened and treated others with a firm, fair and consistent heart. I was blessed to be a part of “Kirkland’s Kingdom”. May God give his family strength and comfort.
Lee and Susan sorry to hear about the passing of your Father. Praying for peace and comfort to everyone.
May God wrap his loving arms around Mr. Roy , family and give them comfort, peace, now in the weeks to come. Mr. Roy , was one of the many favorite teacher of the Class of Woodlawn High School, 1964. Praying for the family
Praying for all of you during this season of grief.
Sorry to hear about Mr Kirkland. Praying for your family.
What a great man! His friendship meant the world to me.
I worked as a superintendent while Roy served the Barton School District. I respected him very much as an educational leader and a person. He had much to offer his community and school district and fellow educators. He will be greatly missed.
Dewanda and Lee, I'm sorry to hear of Mr. Kirkland's passing. I pray for comfort for your family and fond memories of a nice man who valued education.