Earl Henry Kirkland, 79, Dandridge, passed away peacefully at home Sunday, December 3, after battling cancer for over a year, and was surrounded by the family he dearly loved. He was a native of Knoxville and a U.S. Navy veteran. He truly enjoyed his second career, rural mail carrier. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Roy and Francis (Barnes) Kirkland Sr.; sister, Mary Sue Kirkland; daughter-in-law and mother of his grandsons, Candy White Kirkland; and sister-in-law, Carolyn (Jr) Kirkland.He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 60 years, Marina Beeler Kirkland; sons, he was enormously proud of, and their wives, Timothy and Nancy (Guffey) Kirkland, of Knoxville, and Jackson and Susanna (Lucatorta) Kirkland, of Strawberry Plains; grandsons, Cameron Kirkland and Caleb Kirkland, who have been his absolute pride and joy for the last 24 years; brothers, William Roy Kirkland Jr. and Johnny Kirkland and wife, Joanne; sisters and brothers-in-law, Nancy and Larry Hudgins, Faye and Dana Bible, Phyllis and Bruce King, and Martha Kirkland McDaniel; as well as several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. The family received friends Wednesday, December 6 at Holston Baptist Church followed by a Celebration of Life service, with Pastor Toby Downey and Pastor Ronnie White officiating. He was laid to rest Thursday, December 7 at Greenwood Cemetery with military honors. Arrangements by Bridges Funeral Home, 5430 Rutledge Pike, (865) 523-4999.
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