Bess Pirkle
Nov 02, 2012 | 1131 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Bess Pirkle, 105, the oldest living member of First Baptist Church of Cleveland and an inspiration to the thousands who knew and loved her, passed away Wednesday evening, Oct. 31, 2012, in a local health care facility.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Pirkle.

She was a prayer warrior who always exhibited a calm and reasoned outlook on life with the conviction that God is in control of all things, would have been 106 years old on Jan. 6, 2013.

“A woman of grace and dignity, she was a role model for all of us, displaying throughout her life an enduring devotion to her Lord, Jesus Christ, and compassion for people she met along the way. “She was an inspiration for her faith, good humor, and a desire to always see the best in others.”

A dedicated fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team, she often wore and displayed in her room the orange and white colors of the school. On the occasion of her 104th birthday party, she received a signed football and a birthday card from Derek Dooley, UT’s head football coach.

“I’m more excited about getting this note from Coach Dooley than (the one) from the president,” she said, referring to a letter she received from President Obama.

The funeral will be held at 3 p.m. today, Nov. 2, 2012, at First Baptist Church with Dr. Allan Lockerman and the Rev. Jim Gibson officiating.

Interment will follow in Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with David Pirkle, Ron Pirkle, Tommy Pirkle, Gerald Lillard, Dan Cooke, and McKamy Hall serving as pallbearers.

A visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. today prior to the service.

Ralph Buckner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Pirkle family guest book at