Franklyn Kirkman

Obituary of Franklyn L. Kirkman

Franklyn L. Kirkman, 94, of East Syracuse passed away December 27, 2021 at Iroquois Nursing Home. Frank (also known as “Soapy”) was born in Douglaston, Long Island, the son of Franklyn and Ethel Kirkman. Frank was predeceased by his wife of 71 years, Jeanne. They met in Little Neck, Long Island and raised their family in East Northport. Frank served in the Navy during 1945-46. After college, Frank worked for Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO). On the weekends, Frank played the drums professionally in jazz bands for over 30 years. Frank retired from the Long Island Lighting company (LILCO) in 1984. The couple moved to Cedar Mountain, NC where they had a wonderful retirement. After the move to North Carolina, he became a real estate appraiser and started his own band and continued to play gigs in the western NC area. He also had a 3-hour show for a local radio station where he played big band music and provided historical commentary on the band leaders and various musicians of the Big Band Era. They moved to East Syracuse in 2019 to be close to family. Frank treated everyone he met with respect and kindness; always giving people the benefit of the doubt. People liked working with him and he continued to secure repeat business as a result. Wherever he went or worked, he made friends easily and kept them throughout his life. Frank is survived by his children, Kenneth Kirkman (Karen Jastrem) and Kim Kirkman (Hamilton Gillespie); five grandchildren, Father Kenneth Kirkman of Endicott, NY, Matthew Kirkman and Kathleen Kirkman both of Los Angeles, CA, Christopher Gillespie of Redmond, OR, Robert Gillespie (Diana) of Dallas, TX. and Dr. Sawyer Gillespie (Hilary) of Seattle, WA; and one great grandchild, Alexander (Sasha). The Kirkman Family would like to thank the staff and management at Iroquois Nursing Home for the excellent, loving care they provided to Frank. Services and interment will be held at Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery later in the year. Arrangements are with Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.
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