Cover photo for David Duane "KP" Kirkpatrick's Obituary
David Duane "KP" Kirkpatrick Profile Photo
1934 David 2021

David Duane "KP" Kirkpatrick

August 23, 1934 — August 10, 2021

Longtime Livingston educator and businessman, David Duane "KP" Kirkpatrick, 86, of Livingston, passed away Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at the Billings Clinic Hospital.

David was born in Deadwood, SD, on August 23, 1934, to Ted Kirkpatrick and Irene Virkula Kirkpatrick. He was the second of two children. The family spent the next five years in Camp 5 and Moskee, WY, in the Black Hills where Ted worked as a logger for the Homestake Company. In 1940 they moved to Spearfish, SD, where David attended schools and worked on the family's small farm. He excelled in sports, particularly football, which earned him a scholarship to Black Hills State College, where he received his bachelor's degree in education.

He met Nancy Rounds of Rapid City, SD, while attending college and on January 12, 1957, the couple was married. They moved to Livingston the following fall with their newborn son, Daniel, and David began his teaching career at Park County High School. David taught history and started the school's first varsity wrestling program – after reading a book about how to coach wrestling - and also coached football. In the ensuing five years he and Nancy brought three more children into the world: Marie in 1959, Timothy in 1960, and David in 1962. Later that decade he earned his Masters of Science in Education from Montana State University. Along the way David worked summer jobs to help make ends meet. He drove a truck to Yellowstone National Park to deliver soft drinks in the late 1950s and then worked for the U.S. National Forest Service marking off timber sales in the summers. Much of that work took place in the Mill Creek drainage in Paradise Valley.

By 1968 David had stopped working in the summers and coaching after he was named vice principal of Park High, a position he held until 1983. He was known as a sometimes gruff but fair disciplinarian who guided many students through their difficult high school years. In the early 1970s he was instrumental in establishing an alternative pathway, Project ‘71, for at-risk students to complete their education. David stepped down as vice principal in 1983 and became a guidance counselor at Park High before retiring in 1985. He then held the same role in the Shields Valley for Wilsall and Clyde Park for two years.

After retiring from education, David devoted his energy to buying property in the area and managing his commercial and residential rentals as well as agricultural land in the Shields Valley near Wilsall. For many years he raised a small herd of beef cattle on his place east of Livingston.

David is survived by his sister, Thelma, of Rapid City, SD; his son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Julie, of Dickinson, ND; his daughter and son-in-law, Marie and Brete Thibeault of Big Timber, MT; his son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Trudy of Adamstown, MD; and his son and daughter-in-law, Dave and Tina of Bow, NH, as well as his grandchildren, Jon, Jennifer, Stephanie, Maggie and Grace; and great-grandchildren Kolby, Connor, Riley, Keaton, and Lily. David was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Nancy, who died in 1999.

A memorial service honoring KP will be held Thursday, June 16, 2022, 11:00 a.m., at American Lutheran Church, 129 South F Street, Livingston. A reception at the American Legion will follow the service. Memorials are suggested to the Park County Community Foundation, PO Box 2199, Livingston, MT 59047.

To order memorial trees in memory of David Duane "KP" Kirkpatrick, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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