Luther Ray “Luke” Kirklin, age 70 of LaFollette, Tennessee, formerly of Harlan, Kentucky met his Savior, Jesus Christ, on the evening of June 29, 2017 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Luke was preceded in death by his parents, Luther McKinley and Claudia Stringer Kirklin. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Carr “Becky” Kirklin; children, Sean McKinley Kirklin and wife Mindi, and Meredith Kirklin Slechter, and husband, Mat; grandchildren, Luke Kirklin, Madi Kirklin, Kenton Slechter, Logan Slechter, and Laurel Slechter; sister, Alene Horner; sister-in-law, Carolyn Faye Carr Moneyhun, and many close relatives and friends.
Luke grew up in Highsplint, Kentucky, and attended Highsplint Elementary School. He was baptized in the Highsplint Baptist Church. He attended Evarts High School, where he excelled and earned many honors in basketball, baseball, and football. He attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated from the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science, as well as the Mid-America College of Funeral Service.
Luke worked at Gans Funeral Home in Madison, Indiana before returning to the mountains he so loved. He worked for many years at McComb Supply Company, where he worked his way from a sales representative to the president of the company. During his many years in Harlan, Kentucky he owned Dry-Cleaning Plus and co-owned Pope Cawood Lumber and Supply. He was a member of the Harlan City Council, the Harlan Independent School Board, as well as being a member and elder of the Harlan Christian Church. After moving to LaFollette, Tennessee Luke worked for Clayton Mobile Homes, Stardust Marina (where he was the dockmaster), First National Bank (Development Officer), Cross-Smith Funeral Home, and as a part of the Walters family at Walters Funeral Home. During his time in LaFollette he served as vice chairman of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, founding officer of the Friends of Cove Lake, member of the Campbell County Planning Commission, and member of Fincastle United Methodist Church. Luke earned many accolades and awards during his lifetime, including being named both a Kentucky and Tennessee Colonel.
Luke loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was a devoted husband and father. He was exceptionally hard-working and loyal, and he had a genuine love for people.
Visitation will take place at the Fincastle United Methodist Church on Monday, July 3, 2017 from 11:00-1:00 followed by a funeral service at 1:00 at the church. Interment Fincastle Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the cemetery fund at Fincastle United Methodist Church (629 Old Middlesboro Hwy, LaFollette, TN 37766) or The Lexington Church Missions Fund (thelexingtonchurch.org).
Online condolences for Mr. Kirklin may be made at www.waltersfuneralhome.net. Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Luther Ray “Luke” Kirklin.