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Kenneth Gillpatrick
August 13, 1922 - March 10, 2024

Kenneth Wayne Gillpatrick, Sr., 101, of Oelwein passed away Sunday morning March 10, 2024 after a courageous battle with cancer while in hospice care in his home at Arlington Place Assisted Living in Oelwein. A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday March 30, 2024 at 11:00 AM in the Chapel at Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery, located at 3430 West 4th Street in Waterloo.  Interment will follow in that cemetery.  A luncheon will follow at Golden China in Waterloo (RSVP necessary).  Memorial may be directed to Shriners Hospitals and to the Oelwein Masonic Lodge building fund.                   

Kenneth was born on August 13, 1922 in Marion to parents Thomas Benjamin and Eunice Niaomi (Gaines) Gillpatrick.  In his early years he lived with his family on a farm near Martel, until they lost the farm.  They then moved to various small towns until settling in Center Point, and then Waterloo.  He attended the community schools and graduated from east High School in 1939.  He was one of three children: George Russell and Thorald David.

On January 26, 1942 Kenneth married Donna Jean Coons in Waterloo.  They made their home in Independence where they raised their four children: Patricia Ann, Kenneth Wayne, Jr., Donna Jean and Linda Sue.

On October 22, 1942, after attempting to enlist in the Air Force and before being able to retake the entrance examination, he was drafted into the army, serving in WWII.  Kenneth was Honorably Discharged from the Army on October 8, 1945, bringing his dog Jim home from service.

In December of 1945 he became employed with City Laundry Company, beginning in a route sales position, then a supervisory position, promoting rentals and new business.  He retired in 1986 after 41 years of service.

In his early adult years he raised a very large garden in the summer for family produce, later acquired horses for his children to ride and care for, and spent time painting and restoring cars. 

In 1971, Kenneth and Donna divorced and he moved to Oelwein.  On March 13, 1971 he married Mary Talcott in Cedar Rapids, making their home in Oelwein.  Kenneth was dedicated to his family and friends.  He loved letter writing as a way of keeping updated with what was happening in other’s lives.

Kenneth achieved his dream of becoming a pilot of an airplane with one goal being to fly children to Shriners Hospitals.  Other hobbies included reading and golfing.  He liked to travel, visiting family and friends, making many trips to tour special things like the Spruce Goose in Oregon, air shows, especially the Fagan Air Shows.

Kenneth spent time with his first cousins Ruth Fagen and all of her family, sponsored four family reunions since 2000 to revitalize family connections, especially after his cousins wrote a book about “The Tale of Three Families”-Elizabeth Almeda (Gaines) Longstreth: Author.

Kenneth was a life member of Sartoma, the American Legion, Masons, York Rite Shrine, the Sons of the American Revolution and secret Order of Quiet Birdman.

Kenneth would mail or hand out $2.00 bills to others, would ask about who was on the front and would explain those signing the Declaration of Independence.  This was done for his love of the American Constitution.  He was an active patriot and was eager to find out what was happening next in our world.

In more recent years he was involved in studying his DNA findings to connect with family, then studying his paternal DNA to learn how he was related to Thomas Killpatrick who emigrated from Ireland in 1720 through the Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, settling in Maine.  Kenneth then had his genealogy studied. 

Kenneth is survived by his two daughters: Donna Jean Gillpatrick of Independence and Linda Austad of Oelwein; three grandchildren: Gwendolyn (John) McBride of CA, Owen Austad of UT and David (Eloise) Gillpatrick of MD; a great-granddaughter Cameran Gillpatrick; numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife; his second wife; his children and their spouses: Patricia Ann (Norman) Gingras and Kenneth Sr. (Cheryl Williams) Gillpatrick; his brothers George Russell and David Thorald Gillpatrick, and a special cousin Ruth M. (Gillpatrick) Fagen.  

Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home

309 1st Avenue NE  |  Oelwein, IA  50662  |  Phone:  319.283.4653

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