Published: Jun 10, 2012 12:02 AM
Modified: Jun 10, 2012 12:02 AM
Erma Kathryn Hughes Kirkpatrick passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, June 1, 2012.
During her last 18 months of declining health, she was surrounded by the love of family, friends, and the extraordinary staff of UNC Hospice.
Erma was born on September 10, 1920 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Will Hughes and Alice Royston Hughes. She grew up the third of eight children, and was extremely close to her five sisters and two brothers.
Erma graduated from the University of Maryland in 1942 and then joined the Navy, where she served as a cryptanalyst. She attended Radcliffe after WWII, and in 1949 married Charles Atkinson Kirkpatrick, a Marine veteran. The two of them moved to Chapel Hill, NC, where they lived together happily for 35 years. After being widowed she found love a second time and married Harold McCurdy.
She and Kirk were charter members of Aldersgate Methodist Church. She was a Sunday school teacher, tireless committee member, and part of many of the church’s service projects.
Erma was in the Junior Service League (President), on the board of the Methodist Home for Children, on the board of the Wesley Foundation (chair), on the board of the Drug Action Committee (chair), a founding member of the Durham Orange Quilters, a regional coordinator and author of The NC Quilt Project, one of the creators of the first local “soup kitchen” at the Wesley Foundation in the early 1970’s, and a member of the Carr Court Quilting Group.
Out of her volunteer work with English classes for foreign wives, Erma opened her home weekly to these women for the purpose of teaching quilting . She taught several hundred students over the years and made many lasting friendships.
In January, 2011, she was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition of her contributions to the state of North Carolina.
Erma was perhaps known most of all for the love, humor, and kindness which she expressed to all who knew her: young and old , friend and stranger. She was gentle, wise, and compassionate; the number of her friends is countless.
She is survived by her children Peter Kirkpatrick, Jim Kirkpatrick (Ruth), and Molly Raymond (Tom, deceased); five grandchildren (Megan and Devin Raymond ; Galen, Jared, and Asher Kirkpatrick); four sisters (Elizabeth, Margaret, Barbara, Ruth Ann); two brothers (Bill, Don); and many nieces, nephews, and their children.
She will be missed by all who knew her; she will always be deeply loved.
A memorial service will be held at Aldersgate Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Aldersgate Methodist Church, Heifer International, or UNC Hospice.
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