Kirkpatrick was in the U. S. Army from 1942 - 1945, serving in Italy, France and North Africa. After returning home, he served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1947 to 1951, becoming at 26 the youngest man in the history of Texas to chair the state's Appropriations Committee. Kirkpatrick graduated from Baylor School of Law in 1952 and remained a faithful fan and lifelong supporter of the university and its sports. He was in private law practice for a number of years before employment with the State Board of Insurance, from which he retired in 1985.
Kirkpatrick was a life member of the Baptist Church, Trenton Masonic Lodge # 761, Post Oak Island Lodge #181, Elgin Masonic Lodge # 328, Solomon Lodge # 484, Austin Scottish Rite, Austin York Rite, Ben Hur Shrine of Austin, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Representative Kirkpatrick, age 76, passed away on November 3, 1996 after a two year battle with cancer.
Information taken from Kirkpatrick's obituary in the Austin American-Statesman from November 6, 1998.