Memorial service for Betty Jean Kirkpatrick will be 1:30 p.m., Friday, January 31, 2020, at Driftwood Christian Church under the direction of Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Cherokee. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
Betty Jean Burleson Kirkpatrick, daughter of Clyde and Bertha Goode Burleson, was born in Medicine Park on December 31, 1930 and departed this life on January 14, 2020 at the age of 89 years and 14 days.
Betty spent her early childhood in the Medicine Park Area before moving with her family to the Byron Fish Hatchery in Byron, where she attended Locust Grove School through 8th grade and graduated with the class of 1948 from Byron High School.
Betty was an outstanding athlete, participating in basketball and softball. Betty played softball and basketball on the Byron town traveling team after graduation. It’s been said that they could outplay most of the boys’ teams around. Later in life she took up bowling and acquired a mantle full of trophies.
Betty always said she was the tomboy of the family growing up. She loved spending her days outside with the animals as opposed to inside doing housework. She loved all animals, but her greatest love was horses. During much of her spare time as a child she could be found riding and working around them.
Her love of horses came from her father, Clyde, and his team of Black Belgian horses. On Sunday afternoons she was her Dad’s jockey in the local horse races.
Betty married Wallace Kirkpatrick at her home at the Byron Fish Hatchery on June 20, 1948. They shared 69 ½ years together living in the Byron area. They welcomed their son, Rob in 1949 and their daughter, Ellen “Sis” in 1950.
Betty and Wallace operated Kirkpatrick Sand and Gravel and a mechanic and welding shop. They pumped sand and gravel to deliver to locations local and statewide.
Betty was truck driver, bookkeeper, and office manager. They later expanded and started Kirkpatrick Trucking with their son, Rob. The family also managed a farming and cattle operation at the same time.
Betty drove trucks, chased parts, ran the office, attended to the animals, and delivered many meals to the fields, all while attending to the many responsibilities of the home and being a Mom.
Betty rode, raised, and trained many horses during her lifetime. She trained many of her colts at the Cherokee Sale Barn while helping with the weekly cattle sales. One of her favorite things was helping neighboring ranchers each fall and spring gather, brand, and doctor their cattle.
Betty and Wallace were instrumental in helping start the Cherokee Round Up Club. They rode in trail rides, participated in parades, and helped put on the Cherokee Rodeo.
Betty shared her love and knowledge of horses with her daughter, Sis, and together they raised, trained, and sold many nice horses.