Frederick William (Bill) Kirkland III


Young Picture for Obit-aBill Kirkland passed away peacefully at his home in Kirkland on March 19, 2013, at the age of 68, surrounded by his family and a few close friends, after a twenty year battle with four different kinds of cancer, kidney disease and end stage renal disease.  His life and journey were a true testament to courage, perseverance, and selflessness.   He was a loving husband, father, and friend and will be missed by many.


Born at a very young age on August 4th, 1944, in Wenatchee, Bill and his family moved to Ketchikan, Alaska where he lived until he was 11.  He would return a few years later to try his hand at commercial fishing and even though he did it, he was never shy in saying it wasn’t for him.  Though spending only a few short years in Alaska, that way of life stayed with him forever and he was able to visit a few times throughout his last years while cruising through Alaska.  His very sharp memory allowed for many happy stories of his childhood there.  Marine Picture for Obit-aBill also went on to serve 6 years in the Marine Reserves and always had a soft spot in his heart for Marines.


In 1968 Bill moved to Virginia, and lived with his sister while attending computer programming school.  While there he met Linda Wakefield who became his wife in 1969.  They drove across country seeing many wonderful and memorable sights before reaching their destination of Washington State.


Bill enjoyed many wonderful camping trips and vacations with his family.  He particularly enjoyed any place near the ocean.  He was an avid reader and enjoyed watching Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders games, both in person and on television.  He loved eating popcorn and drinking Dr. Pepper.  He enjoyed eating German chocolate cake on special occasions and met many vegetables he didn’t like, especially onions and broccoli.

Museum Picture for Bartons Obit-a

After a long and satisfying career in the mortgage underwriting business, Bill retired and took up one of his other great passions – airplanes and flying.  He became a volunteer at Seattle’s Museum of Flight where he spent at least three days every week giving tours through the museum and sharing stories with all the different people he met.  True to his character, it never took long for people to be drawn to Bill and tell him their stories.  Our family always enjoyed hearing about the people he met and the things he saw at the museum.  As many know, he was always eager to share his passes to the museum so that others could experience the joy he found there.  He was very proud to have recently reached 2,400 volunteer hours.


Bill is survived by his wife Linda Kirkland and daughters Carrie Doolittle (Mike) and Tara Kirkland; all of whom he made sure to take care of until his last day.  He is also survived by sisters, Karen (Kirkland) Morris of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kathy (Kirkland) Gould of Sultan, Washington.  He was a hero the way he led his life, never complaining while in the midst of various medical procedures and illnesses and always having time for anyone he met.  His sense of humor was famous among those who knew him and never ceased until his last day.  The example he provided for his family on how to live life and how to treat people will live on.  He has left us all with a feeling of gratefulness, privilege and blessing just to have known him.


He will forever be loved and missed.


A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on April 20th, 2013, at 2:00 pm, at the Inglewood Presbyterian Church, 7718 NE 141st Street, Kirkland, WA 98034.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Museum of Flight:


Attn: Development Office

9404 East Marginal Way S
Seattle, WA 98108-4097
Phone: 206.764.5720

18 Responses to “Frederick William (Bill) Kirkland III”

  • Annie Worcester says:

    Carrie and Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks when I think of all your sorrow.
    Hold on to all the happy memories.
    You’ll be in my thoughts and my prayers.
    Annie Worcester

  • john brightbill says:

    Bill deeply touched the lives of fellow docents at
    Museum of Flight. R.I.P. John Brightbill

  • john brightbill says:

    Bill will be missed for his infectious good disposition. Had the pleasure of knowing him at the
    Museum of Flight. John Brightbill.

  • Kim Brewer says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing, he was always so positive and such a fighter. He faced cancer straight on and with the confidence that he would beat it, I believed he would too. My daughter and I were thrilled to get a personal tour at the museum of flight last year – Bills passion was so evident and his knowledge was truly amazing.
    The entire family is in my thoughts and prayers at this very sad time, hugs, Kim

  • Judith Sabella says:

    What a sweet and kind man, Bill was very special and I always knew I could talk to him and he would never tell anyone what was said. God bless him may he rear in peace.

  • Randy Treacy says:

    I met Bill in the Mortgage business and was an inspriation to us all. He never complained about his health issues and was still able to humor us all. I regret not taking the time to tour the musuem where Bills passion was so evident. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I know Bill is looking down on us with that fabulous smile.

  • Krisel Andersen says:

    I met Bill through the mortgage industry. I was fairly new as a mortgage broker and he was a great teacher. My office was in the bonus room of my home and I was blessed with his presence one day prior to Christmas. My daughter was at the stage of being a non-believer of Santa Claus and Bill came dresssed as you guessed it … Santa! He looked so very real. I asked if I could take a picture of him to show my kids Santa is real. We closed the blinds as it was daytime and made the lighting so you could see him supposedly putting things in their stockings. I took two polaroid photos. We both laughed, he with a Santa ho, ho, ho! To this day, my kids remember the photo which I still have.
    I haven’t seen or spoken to Bill in years, but my heart reaches out to his family. He was an amazing person and had a heart open to the world. Here’s a big hug for him and his family. May he rest in peace without pain.

  • Trish Block says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Bill (and Carrie) in the mortgage business. Bills robust personality was a huge asset to us in the crazy world of mortgage lending. He provided strength and knowledge of the industry along with many, many hearty laughs due to his stories accumulated from years of adventures and cheeky follies. He was a good man that will be missed. My heart goes out to the family and joins the many friends that will miss him.

  • Tanis Fee says:

    Bill was truly one of my dearest friends and will be deeply missed by many, many people. He was always so positive and enjoyed life so much, even with his challenges. I’ll miss his phone calls and stories of his cruises to Alaska and those of the Museum of Flight, his beautiful smile and love of life.

    Linda, Carrie and Tara, God keep you in his care during this extremely sad and difficult time. Blessings!

  • Joanne Ericksen says:

    I like the first picture. He was younger than when I met him! Ron and I wish you time to really get into all the happy and funny memories very soon.
    Joanne and Ron

  • Pat Blum says:

    I have known Bill since junior high school and what an inspiration he was to all of us. He was always so positive and met every obstacle with such determination. I don’t know anyone else who could have take on all his medical problems with such courage. I counted Bill as one of my oldest and very, very good friends. Blessings to you Linda, Carrie and Tara.

  • Laurel Mitzel says:

    I only knew Bill through his wife Linda. I know he
    was loved very much as she always spoke of him with such pride! Blessings to Linda , Carrie & Tara at this
    very difficult time. Bill’s memories will always be
    in your heart.


  • Kirby Larson says:

    Bill was the epitome of kindness and cheer and courage. I was so blessed to spend that sweet Sunday afternoon with him and loved “traveling” with him through his life as he told those great stories of trips he’d taken, experiences in Alaska and even meeting Linda. It is not surprising that everyone mentions his courage and calm in the face of all of the health challenges he faced. He never would have held himself up as a model of how to live life, but he certainly was one to all he met.

    I am so sorry I’ll be out of town for the memorial service. Linda, Carrie and Tara, please know you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Paul Kukuk says:

    Linda and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Beth had told Sue.

    I read some of the posts on the obit site, people obviously knew Bill, always making lemons into lemon aid, alway more than half full rather than half empty, I watch for people that cross the path of my life and from some that have an aspect of their nature that I admire, I try to grab a piece of it to emulate. One piece of Bill that needs to be in my toolbox was his ability to take life as it came, always putting a positive face on it.

    Many people that have gone through the health issues Bill did would have given up and cursed God and life. We have all been blessed by having Bill Kirkland cross our path.

    May GOD lift all of you up as you deal with your loss.

    I am in AZ for a couple weeks but hope that Sue will be at the service.
    Paul Kukuk

  • Jan Hover says:

    Linda, Carrie and Tara, Bob and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Bill. I would have to concur with everything that Kirby wrote above. We first met Bill and Linda when we were joining Inglewood Presbyterian Church and so discovered that we had many more things in common. Bill and I went to the same High School and he knew my sister and brother-in-law. He is certainly a role model for all of us facing physical challenges. We will miss you Bill.

    Jan and Bob

  • Sue Kukuk says:

    Dear Linda, Carrie and Tara,
    My heart is sad that Bill has left all the people that loved him, laughed with him and learned from him. I rejoice that Bill has become an angel with God, his spirit whole again and the love he gave to all will never die.
    I will see you at the service.
    Much love and condolences,
    Sue Kukuk

  • Morton Weisman says:

    Bill was my friend on our Wed. shift’s in the Air Park. He was a wonderful guy, knew so much more than I and was always helping me git the information right. We had many wonderful conversations about , well everything. I will miss him very much.

  • Frederick Underwood says:

    Linda, I think of you and family always one day may we get together for a chat so you can tell me about my cousin Frederick

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE