Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More than a mark on the floor

Good: As a young man, Douglas Bruce Kirkton studied chemistry and biology at UNC. Following graduate training in Air Pollution and Industrial Hygiene, he designed an innovative hazmat laboratory, developed mobile air quality field labs, and consulted on inspecting, handling, and removing hazardous materials throughout the country. Technical prowess led to a career with IBM developing and teaching training courses. Kirkton had met his future wife back in 1979, settling with her in Raleigh, North Carolina, and raising a daughter together. He loved to travel, hike, and camp, and had pride in his Scottish heritage and a passion for old-time music and fiddling.

: Kirkton was enjoying retirement when he died in February 2010 at the age of 64. The "go-to guy" was gone. He wasn't around to help his neighbors with their computers, assist friends with their home renovations, or dispense advice about publishing books and designing websites. He was no longer available to share his time with his wife and mother, help out at his sister's floral business, and enjoy his pastimes with his daughter, son-in-law, and nieces and nephews. Kirkton's bereaved friends and relatives celebrated his life during an informal memorial service at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home and honored his love of traditional music by asking for contributions to PineCone in lieu of flowers.

Read more here:

Ugly: After Kirkton's death, his family put his house at 3603 Blueberry Drive on the market. The property, where he lived most of his adult life, was listed as a single-family home needing work, with 1 ½ baths and 1,492 sq. ft. of living space, built in 1963 in a neighborhood where similar homes are selling for an average of more than $243,000. Unfortunately, much was made over the insensitive decision to include an uncropped photo (1st image, complete slideshow here) that shows a stain where Mr. Kirkton's body presumably lay until discovery. The listing photo is still circulating as an example of what not to do when advertising real estate - a horrible legacy for someone who seems like a caring, generous, and interesting guy.

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