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Tex Rickard Kilpatrick October 4, 1932 - October 19, 2018

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Tex Kilpatrick 102318.jpg

Tex Rickard Kilpatrick
October 4, 1932 - October 19, 2018
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalms 42:1-2
A celebration of the life of Tex Rickard Kilpatrick, a gentle giant of a man in stature and in character, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 25, 2018, in the Worship Center of First Baptist Church of West Monroe. Pastor Michael Wood and Dr. Mark Fenn will officiate. Bishop Mark Foster will deliver the eulogy, with closing remembrances by Dr. David Uth. Following the service, a committal will be held at Kilpatrick's Serenity Gardens in West Monroe.
Tex loved life and lived it to the fullest. He touched many, helping those he could and spreading encouragement, kindness, and generosity everywhere he went. With his infectious smile, his keen wit, and his warm heart, Tex remained a fixture in the community and the state for decades.
Tex was born October 4, 1932, the son of Effie Mae Hicks and Edgar Noel Kilpatrick of Farmerville, Louisiana, and he passed to his heavenly home on October 19, 2018, to be reunited with his parents, his brother, Kenneth Dale “K.D.” Kilpatrick, and his sister, Johnnie Nell “Sis” Kilpatrick Gorton.
After graduating from Farmerville High School at age 15, Tex earned a degree from Landig College of Mortuary Science in Houston, Texas, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from Louisiana State University where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. With an acceptance letter to LSU medical school in hand, Tex made the first of many decisions that would mark him both as a successful businessman and a thoughtful family man.

Realizing that their father could no longer run the family business, the original Kilpatrick Funeral Homes in Union and Lincoln Parish, Tex and K.D borrowed money and acquired the company that their parents began. Eventually, Kilpatrick Funeral Homes expanded to include Ouachita Parish. In 1953, Tex, only 20 years old at the time, needed to be emancipated to open a funeral home in a private residence in West Monroe.
In 1957, the brothers recognized the growing need for life insurance in the region, so they obtained an insurance charter to operate Central American Life Insurance Company in West Monroe. CALICO became the largest privately held life insurance company in Northeast Louisiana. Together, the brothers acquired other Louisiana insurance companies, along with Ashley Life Insurance Company in Hamburg, Arkansas. Tex served as President of the Louisiana Insurers' Conference.

Tex was a licensed funeral director for over fifty years and an active member of numerous professional funeral associations both at the state and at national levels. At the time of his death, Tex served as owner and CFO for Kilpatrick Enterprises that includes Kilpatrick Funeral Homes, Kilpatrick's Serenity Gardens in West Monroe, and Kilpatrick's Memorial Gardens in Ruston.
Considering the time that these growing business interests required, many assumed that Tex would have time for little else. Such was not the case. Tex always made time for those endeavors that were important not only to him, but also for the betterment of his community, and he always considered the generations to follow. His community work included serving as President of the West Monroe Chamber of Commerce, President of the West Monroe Lion's Club, Board Member of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the West Monroe United Way, and member of the Advisory Board of Iberia Bank. For thirty-three years, he served as a member of the Louisiana Power & Light Company Board and the Entergy Advisory Board, offering invaluable insights into the needs of the growing communities.
Tex believed in the empowerment that a good education brings, and he avidly supported higher education at the local and state levels. He served on the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors for six years, serving as Vice Chairman his final year, and on the LSU Alumni Board. His work for the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) was extensive and included participating in the selection of two ULM Presidents, serving as Vice President of the ULM Foundation, and co-chairing, with special friends Lynn and James Moore, the fundraising drive to build Bon Aire, the ULM President's official residence.
Tex's unselfish civic involvement did not go unnoticed. In 2009, he and Carole were awarded the Dr. George T. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award. In that same year, he was selected for honorary membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society for business in recognition of his professional achievement. In 2012, the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce named him the recipient of the A.O. Evans Award. In 2013, Tex finally became “Dr. Kilpatrick” when ULM conferred upon him the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
Those who knew him well knew how much Tex loved the outdoors. He was an accomplished hunter with unlimited stories about hunting deer and ducks in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, and fishing for speckled trout offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and for bass, brim, and crappie in freshwater lakes closer to home, including Winter Quarters and Bayou DeSiard, throwing a line from his own boat dock after work. Tex took great pleasure in mentoring others in the “art” of hunting and fishing. His patience and skills were equally appreciated by those fortunate enough to learn from him. He shared many of his lessons in a duck blind at dawn or in a deer stand at dusk, two of his favorite places to be.
A dedicated conservationist, Tex actively engaged in wildlife management and protection of Louisiana's natural resources and habitats. He served as State Chairman of Ducks Unlimited and later as a National Trustee for that organization. He also served as a Board Member of the Gulf Coast Conservation Association of Louisiana.
LSU Tiger football was one of Tex's passions, and he watched them play every chance he got, and he never tired of wearing his favorite LSU baseball cap. He loved home grown turnip greens and hotwater cornbread, often cooked by Mariah Bradford, his devoted housekeeper of thirty-five years. Tex also loved to share with others the jars of jelly that she would make from muscadine, mayhaw, and scuppernong grapes grown in the Kilpatrick garden overseen by Nathaniel Ward.
Tex's faith was central to his life, and his work for his church was life-long. The Sumerall Life Group at First Baptist Church kept him busy preparing for the teacher's questions each week. He was also active in his Men's Prayer Group on Wednesdays. Previously, he served on the Finance Committee at the church.
The roles of husband, father, and grandfather were the ones that Tex cherished most. He never tired of attending school programs, tennis matches, high school and college graduations, and trips to Camp Waldemar in Hunt, Texas. His then very young daughters delighted in back-to-school shopping trips to Houston and Dallas, with Tex in the pilot seat of his twin engine plane as an instrument rated pilot.
Tex is survived by his treasured wife of sixty love-filled years, Carole Eady Kilpatrick; daughter Kerry Layne Kilpatrick; daughter Robin Carole Kilpatrick Fincher, her husband Michael, and their children Kiley Ann, Layne Carole, and Laura Lynette; and daughter Laura Eady Kilpatrick Marchelos, her husband Zak, and their son James Kilpatrick; and sister-in-law Anne Burford Kilpatrick. Also missing Tex will be a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and wonderful friends who enjoyed their times together and who offered up prayers from coast to coast and abroad on his behalf.
We will forever be grateful to the physicians who attended Tex during his lifetime: Doctors Richard O'Donovan, Greg Sampognaro, and Mike Cage. We thank the doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Specialty Hospital, and Skilled Nursing Facility of St. Francis Medical Center, along with Sister Mary Ann Sepulvado, who all carefully attended to Tex during his final days. Thank you also to Tonya Handy, Jill Handy, and Mary Addison for their exceptional care. Your treatment, patience, and prayers for our family will never be forgotten.
Serving as pallbearers will be the funeral directors of Kilpatrick Funeral Homes: Bob Hearn, Jason McKee, John Cunningham, Steve Lanigan, Jerry Roark, Mike Roark, and Marvin Dearman, the General Manager of Kilpatrick's Cemeteries. Thank you and all of the Kilpatrick team for your continued loyalty and devotion to our family.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dixon Abell, Nelson Abell III, Kent Anderson, Stein Baughman, Lad Cazedessus, Dr. Jim Geisler, Sam Henry, Joe Ledoux, Harry Liner, James Moore, and Senator Neil Riser.
Memorials may be made to the Carole and Tex Kilpatrick Mission Fund at First Baptist Church of West Monroe, 500 Pine Street, West Monroe, Louisiana 71291, or the ULM Foundation, 700 University Avenue, Monroe, Louisiana 71209.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home, West Monroe.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com.

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