Rebecca (Gaston) Kirkman

February 4, 1942 ~ March 5, 2020 (age 78)


Rebecca Gaston Kirkman, 77, died at Spring Arbor Memory Care in Greensboro
on March 4.  She was born in Gastonia in 1942 to Maury and Ruth Gaston who
moved with their young family to Statesville in 1944 when Maury was hired
as County Agent for Iredell County.   Becky attended Davie Ave, D. Matt
Thompson, and Statesville High School, graduating in 1960.  She studied
elementary education at Salem College and later became an elementary
teacher for Statesville City Schools.   She married Karl G Kirkman of
Statesville and they became parents of Mary Ruth Kirkman Hunt now of
Greensboro, and Graham Kirkman of Atlanta. She is survived by her children
and grandchildren, Rebecca, Caroline and Thomas Hunt, and Henry and William
Kirkman.   She is also survived by her sister, Sarah Gaston Borders of
Statesville and nephews Brad and Stephen Borders.  Her French “sister,”
Francoise Josselin of Paris also survives.  Francoise, an American Field
Service student, lived with the Gaston family in 1958-59.

After earning her MA in counseling from UNCC Becky became a counselor at
Oakwood Junior High School.  She later moved to the Iredell Statesville
Schools central office where she was coordinator for special needs children
in the county. After her retirement, she served as an active member of the
board of directors for Fifth Street Ministries.  She worked tirelessly in
support of fundraising and other needs during the years of the building
program.  She organized the Presbyterian Church women in an ongoing
outreach project of cooking and serving meals to residents at the shelter.
She continued as a regular volunteer until her illness in 2014.

Known for her hospitality, Becky will be lovingly remembered by her family
for elegant holiday meals.  The circle of musicians and friends who were
present for the annual “Strawberry Jam” which she hosted each May in her
back yard from 1998 to 2012 will recall extraordinary evenings of barbecue,
old-time music and sharing stories. Her colleagues from the exceptional
children’s program greatly enjoyed luncheons which featured Becky’s chicken
salad.  A homebody at heart, her door was always open. She warmly welcomed
spontaneous visitors to the fireside in her den or to her back porch for
visits and good conversation.  She will be greatly missed by family,
friends, and colleagues.

There will be a graveside service on Sunday, March 8 at Oakwood Cemetery at
2 PM followed by a Celebration of Life at the Wine Maestro downtown
Statesville.  Memorials may be made to Fifth Street Ministries in
Statesville or Hospice. Online condolences may be made to the family at


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Graveside Service
March 8, 2020

2:00 PM
Oakwood Cemetery
114 Oakwood Dr.
Statesville, NC 28677


Fifth Street Ministries
1421 Fifth St., Statesville NC 28677

Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County
2341 Simonton Rd., Statesville NC 28625

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