Sunday, February 14, 2010

In Memorium: Charles Kirkland

Charles Kirkland, 89, passed away on February 6, 2010. Charles graduated from Roosevelt High School. He lettered in track and was the Gary Golden Gloves Champion. Charles went to Hampton Institute before being drafted into the military. He served over 30 years of honorable service in World War II and the Korean Conflict. Charles won the Medal of Valor and Defense Meritorious Service medals. After graduation from Hampton in business management and real estate, he worked as the owner-operator, real estate broker, and general contractor for the House of Charles Real Estate Company and the owner-operator of DCC Mortgage Brokerage. Later he founded Kirkland's Auction Company, where he served for the rest of his life as a state certified and licensed, professional auctioneer.

Charles was an avid political activist. He worked as a Precinct Committeeman and Third District Captain. In 1963, he became the first Black person to run for county-wide office. In the same year, Charles served as the Gary Campaign Manager for the first Black citizen to run for U.S. President. He was recently commended as an honoree for the 2nd annual Central District Love Award by the Central District Organizing Project, which recognizes and celebrates those who have dedicated their lives to carrying on work for peace and social justice. A wake will be held at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, February 21 at First Baptist Church, 626 West 21st Ave., in Gary, IN. The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m.

Monday, February 22 - also at the church. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetary, Gary IN. Mr. Kirkland is survived by his daughter Charmayne Kirkland; son Andrew Kirkland, his late son Charles Kirkland, his stepsons Galen and Bryan Kirkland, grand-daughter Rachael, great grand-daughter Patience Oashana; grandsons Joseph, Andrew Jr. and Sir Llyod Charles Kirkland.

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