Robert Hugh Kirksey, age 87, of Aliceville, Alabama, died on July 4, 2009. A funeral service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Aliceville at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2009 with Dr. Thomas G. Kay, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow at Franconia-Oak Grove Cemetery with Skelton Funeral Home of Reform directing. Judge Kirksey was born on April 6, 1922 in Aliceville, Alabama to Robert Jackson Kirksey and Bessie McLeod Kirksey. He enrolled as a cadet at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina in the fall of 1940. In March, 1943 he entered active service in the United States Army. He served as a First Lieutenant in the 333rd Regiment of the 84th Infantry Division and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge. Judge Kirksey received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The Citadel in 1947 after returning from World War II and enrolled in the University of Alabama School of Law. His law school studies were interrupted while he served as Executive Assistant to Congressman Hugo Sims of the Second Congressional District of South Carolina. He returned home to Alabama from Washington, D.C. in 1951 to complete his law degree and enter the private practice of law with John Hardy Curry in Pickens County, Alabama. In 1962 he was appointed Probate Judge of Pickens County by Governor John Patterson. He served as Probate Judge for 19 years, retiring in 1981 to assume the position of Director of Alumni Affairs of the University of Alabama. In 1986, Judge Kirksey retired from the University of Alabama to return to the private practice of law in Pickens County. He remained active in the practice of law until 1999. Judge Kirksey was active in many community and civic affairs and held numerous leadership positions, including President of the Probate Judges Association of Alabama, President of the University of Alabama National Alumni Association, Chairman of the West Alabama Regional Development Council, and Chairman of the Tuscaloosa Area Council of Local Governments. He also served on the boards of the Oak Grove-Franconia Cemetery, Pickens Academy, the State Mental Health Association, Alabama Tuberculosis Association, the Tenn-Tom Waterway Authority and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. Judge Kirksey was recognized as the first Citizen of the Year by rhe Aliceville Chamber of Commerce and was the recipient of the David Cochrane Award presented by the West Alabama Planning and Development Council. In 1980, he received the University of Alabama National Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Judge Kirksey was a life-long member of First Presbyterian Church of Aliceville, where for over 50 years he served first as a Deacon and later as an Elder of the Church. He was a member of the Aliceville Rotary Club for over 56 years, having served as Club President. He is a former member of the Pickens County Bar Association and the Alabama State Bar. Judge Kirksey is survived by his wife if 62 years, Mary Milton Rainey “Millie” Kirksey; his four daughters, Mary Bess Paluzzi (John) of Aliceville, Lou Heard (Tiny) of Brooksville, Libby Shaw (Bob) of Tuscaloosa and Ann Wetzel of Aliceville; his grandchildren, Libby Abrams (Neel), Dr. Richard Heard (Katie), Robby Shaw (Leah), Billy Shaw (Maurie), George Shaw (Leila), and Mary Rainey Wetzel; two great-grandchildren, Neely Abrams and Emma Shaw; and his nieces and nephews, Dr. Thomas G. Amason (Yates), Robbie Davis (Charles), Johnny Abrams, Emily Sparrow (Tom) and Sallie Alston. Judge Kirksey’s great-nephews, Bert Amason, Bob Davis, Thomas Sparrow, Archie Abrams, Ted Alston and Francis Gardner Park will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are the Elders and Deacons of the First Presbyterian Church of Aliceville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Aliceville Museum, 104 Broad St., Aliceville, AL 35442, Oak Grove-Franconia Cemetery, P.O. Box 344, Aliceville, AL 35442 or the charity of your choice. Tags: 1944

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