John “Papa John” Kilpatrick, Sr., 90, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, passed away on Sunday, October 17, 2021, in a local hospital.
He was born on January 4, 1931, in Chattanooga, to Johnny Kilpatrick and Mamie “Big Mama” Walker; he was the stepson of Robert “Big Daddy” Freeman. He was the third of six children. John accepted Christ as his Savior at an early age. After graduating from Howard High School in 1949, he joined the Army and had a distinguished military career, retiring as a staff sergeant. He was employed with Combustion Engineering as a boilermaker for 42 years. John became a member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1977. He was a quiet, but consistent member of the church. This is also how he lived his life…quiet and consistent. His light shone brightly, and he was loved by all who knew him. He was also a longtime member of the Bushtown Neighborhood Association and volunteer with the Election Commission.
Survivors include his loving wife of 44 years, Peggie Norman Kilpatrick; children, Korlon Kilpatrick, Johnny Kilpatrick, Keddrick (Donna) Kilpatrick, Kyron Kilpatrick, Stephanie Kilpatrick, John Kilpatrick, Jr., and Kinsley (Tracie) Kilpatrick; 15 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; brother, Ralph Freeman; a host of nieces; nephews; cousins of the Walker, Gladden, and Freeman families; as well as members of the Norman family; other relatives and friends.
John will lie in state on Monday, Oct. 25, at 9 a.m. at Bethel A.M.E. Church.
Funeral services will follow at noon at the church with Pastor A.J. Holman as the eulogist.
Burial will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Arrangements are by Taylor Funeral Home of Chattanooga, Inc.