Dr. Chester A. Kirkpatrick passed away peacefully in Sedalia, Missouri, on the morning of October 20, 2023. Chester was born on October 1, 1925, in Sedalia, Missouri, and was the son of Glenn J. and Lydia Pearl Dillow Kirkpatrick.
Chester attended Mark Twain Elementary School, graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1944, and attended Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, and Central Missouri State College, in Warrensburg, Missouri. Chester worked as mail carrier starting in high school to help pay his way through college. Chester received a Doctor of Optometry degree from Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois, in 1950. He worked his way through optometry school by serving as an elevator operator at a Chicago hotel and walking race horses at the local horse track.
Chester was introduced to his future wife by one of his best friends, John Towner. Chester was married to Dorothy E. Towner in First Baptist Church on January 18, 1952, and they enjoyed 71 years together.
Early in his practice, Dr. Kirkpatrick served in the United States Army. After basic training, he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, at the Brooke Army Hospital Eye Clinic. Chester practiced optometry at 511 S. Ohio from 1950 through 1987. Dr. Kirkpatrick helped many Sedalia citizens see clearly and was known to barter his professional services for hunting privileges on land all around Sedalia. Chester was a member of the Missouri Optometric Association and served as State Secretary of that organization for seven years. He was an active member of the West Central Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
Chester was an original organizer of the Sedalia Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, serving as the General Chairman for the first two years. Chester was a charter member of the Sedalia Jaycees, was the Outstanding Jaycee for the year 1957-58 and was also a member of the Optimist Club and the Lions Club. Chester served as a member of the Sedalia School Board District 200 from 1971-1977. During his tenure on the school board, the Sedalia Middle School was constructed.
Chester was an active member of the First Baptist Church from his youth. He taught a young boys class, was active as a Deacon, sang in the adult choir, was a department director in Sunday School and served the Church in many other capacities. The Church was a central part of his life.
Chester’s passions were hunting, fishing and gardening. Chester enjoyed trips to Truman Lake, Lake of the Ozarks and Canada with his fishing and hunting buddies and family. He gardened several community plots at State Fair Community College until the age of 95. While he was a college and major league sports fan, he most enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate in sports events, recitals and school and church activities.
Chester was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Hazel Middleton and Rosalie Zahringer, and his son-in-law Jim Foster.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Glen (Lori) Kirkpatrick of Parkville, Missouri, Karla Foster of Jefferson City, Missouri and Don (Shelly) Kirkpatrick of Leawood, Kansas. Chester was blessed with eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Funeral service will be 11:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at First Baptist Church, Sedalia with Rev. Jeremiah Greever officiating.
Pallbearers will be Wade Foster, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Billy Kirkpatrick, Aaron Hausman, Lucas Mundell and Josh Ferguson.
Visitation will be 10:00 am until service time at the church.
Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors by VFW Post 2591 and US Army.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the First Baptist Church, Sedalia, Missouri, and Sedalia School District Foundation in care of Heckart Funeral Home.
Arrangements are under the direction of Heckart Funeral Home.