Frank James Kirkland

West Branch, Michigan
April 11, 1975 - January 26, 2021


The family will receive guests from 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM Sunday, January 31, 2021 at the Buresh Funeral Home (101 Harrison Street, Prescott, Michigan 48756).

Visitors will have an opportunity to sign the guest book, pay their respects and visit with the family while wearing a facial covering and practicing social distancing when in the funeral home.


A private funeral service will be held on Monday, February 1, 2021 with Pastor Gary Gillings officiating.

Graveside committal Service, with military honors, will take place at 2:15 PM at Mills Township Cemetery.

Obituary Notice

Frank James Kirkland, age 45 of West Branch, passed away on January 26, 2021.

He is survived by his mother, Francesann (Miller) Irving of West Branch. Son, Trevor Cunningham of Prescott. Former wife and friend, Starla Kirkland of Gladwin. Stepsons, Aaron (Ayla) Abair of Bay City, Ryan Abair of Gladwin, Dustin Abair of Gladwin and Joshua Filbart of Gladwin. Step-grandchildren, Aden, Aurora, Ashton and Analee Abair. Sister, Frannie Kirkland of West Branch. Niece, Brittany Kirkland of West Branch, Nephew, Blayze Kirkland of Port Huron and his faithful German Shepherd, Parker.

Mr. Kirkland was preceded in death by his father, Frank S. Kirkland. Stepfather, Daniel Irving. Grandparents, Richard and Margaret (Peggy) Swanson, Robert Kirkland and Charles and Mary Miller. Aunts, Mary Snyder, Sara Crawford and Mary Thayer. Uncle, Chuck Miller and cousin, Chrissy (Cromwell) Jones.

Frank was born on April 11, 1975 in West Branch, Michigan to Frank Stephen and Francesann (Miller) Kirkland. He graduated from the Whittemore-Prescott High School in 1993 before enlisting in United States Navy. While stationed in Hawaii, Frank enrolled in college courses to major in Forensic Science. After serving our country with the Navy, he returned to Michigan where he was an installer of invisible fencing in Southern Michigan before returning back to West Branch where he was most recently employed as a Manager of Mulch Manufacturing. Frank was a Christian and occasionally attended the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Gladwin while also being a member of Biker’s for Kids. Frankie enjoyed fishing, camping, hiking, motorcycle riding, bicycle riding, snowmobiling, boating, going to mud bogs and the racetrack, reading, tinkering in the garage, cookouts and social events and he cherished time spent with his family, friends and his beloved German Shepherd, Parker.

The family will receive guests from 2:00 – 8:00 PM on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at the Buresh Funeral Home (101 Harrison Street, Prescott, Michigan 48756). Visitors will have the opportunity to sign the guest book, pay their respects and visit with family while wearing a facial covering and practicing social distancing when in the funeral home.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Frankie’s funeral will be private. Pastor Gary L. Gillings will officiate and he will be buried with military honors at Mills Township Cemetery.

The family would like to acknowledge and express their gratitude to:

-Responding EMS Crew
-Staff of Emergency Department of Mid-Michigan Medical Center in West Branch
-Responding flight / helicopter crew
-Michigan Gift of Life coordinators

A special “thank you” to Amanda, Jeff and Casey – the amazing nurses who cared for Frankie in the ICU at McLaren Bay Regional Medical Center. In addition to the coordinator, respiratory therapists, PCA’s, physicians, clerks, pharmacists, techs, housekeepers, Emergency Department, lab and other outstanding staff / team members who not only provided excellent care to Frankie, but also supported and comforted his family throughout this incredibly difficult time.


Mills Township Cemetery


My deepest sympathy to family and everyone Frankie touched their hearts. Frankie will forever be loved by Starla Kirkland and Frankie's son Josh. Even though separated by circumstances, Frankie and Starla always have kept unspoken love for each other. Although we all knew, Fly high my brother, you will be greatly missed.
— Pamela Parker
I love you sweetheart, forever and always, my heart is broken into a million pieces, I will never forget that beautiful smile, everytime I hear our wedding song (All of me by John Legend) I think of our crazy love story, til we meet again my love, Starla Renee Kirkland
— Starla Renee Kirkland
Love you so much uncle Frankie ❤️
— Alexis Howard
Frankie, Frankie! I’m so glad that I said my goodbye’s while you laid in the hospital. I squeezed your hand hoping you would know I was their....I believe you did.

I’m sure Aunt Shirley Greeted you with open open arms, big smile and a few words along with some tears. You were a joy to be with and I will treasure our talks forever.

Until we meet again...all my love💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕Aunt Vivian
— Vivian Scott Weeden
Frankie was such an amazing grandpa. My kids loved and adored their papa. Thank you for loving my kids Frankie. Frankie was always willing to help however he could. He always had a smile on his face. Frankie you will be missed so much, thank you for being a father figure in my life, and welcoming me into your family with such love. We will see you again on the other side, our angel!!! Love your daughter-in -law.
— Ayla Abair
Uncle I can’t tell you how many people some of which I don’t even know have told me “he was like a father to me when I had none” “he was like a brother to me” “he took me in when my own family didn’t accept me” and Josh is a light in this world I’ll always be looming out for. He’s so special because of his love for his dad and your bond. And you met him at 6 or 7 just a little guy. Immediately that was your son. You had a way of making everyone feel like they belonged with you. You were someone I cherished more than words. Looked up to my whole life. And my anger, sadness, and my pain for you being taken from us so soon is overwhelming now... but your women my mom, grandma, and me we will keep moving. We will be strong for each other and for you... but a light and an entire energy will always be missing forever now. I miss you so much I can’t accept that you are gone. I hope you’re with Casey and he’s giving you big kisses, aunt Shirley and Grandma Mary & all the other beautiful angels. I know wherever you are now, you’re still making everyone around you happy to be where they are. I love you forever.

Your Niece 🖤
— Brittany Kirkland
My heart breaks for everyone, I will never forget how much love he had for his family, especially the little ones. You will be missed dearly.
— Tonya parker
Frankie...thank you for a great friendship!!
One of my best school mates!! You always made me laugh and will never forget all the good times...peace ya
— Dawn Buccitelli
Quite a guy will be missed. Gary and Priscilla SanCartier
— Gary SanCartier
My deepest sympathy goes out to Starla and especially Josh. I know Frankie will be missed by all that knew him. Remember the good times forget the hard times and keep going. God Bless.
— Lynn E Wright
When sorrow comes, God promises are shining rays of hope; that break through cloudy skies to bring us warmth and help us cope. He promises to love us and to hear our every prayer, to comfort us and guide us, and always just be there... He promises to give us strength to weather any storm; to be someone we lean on who will keep us safe and warm. God will never leave us all alone when skies are gray, as long as we believe and trust, His love will light our way. Thinking of you all and praying for His healing to soften the sadness and to bring you peace. May you have comfort in his memories and laughter in his smiles. Love and Hugs Fran, Frannie, Brittney and Blayze; my thoughts and prayers are with you.
— Sue Lillich
Fran, My most deepest and sincere sympathies to you on the loss of your Son. I can still remember you talking about Frankie and Frannie as they were both just toddlers. My heart breaks for you. RIP Frankie and know you were always the light in your Mothers eyes. Sandy (Miller) Dantzer
— Sandra K Dantzer (Miller)
As the initial General Manager of Mulch Mfg. Frankie was my first hire. He filled in for me whenever necessary, and was always ready to help with any work Judi and I would have around the house. He was not only a trusted worker, fellow soldier, but a true friend. RIP Brother.
Steve and Judi Steinhauser
— Steve and Judi Steinhauser
Our condolences to all of Frank’s Family. Frank worked for our company - Invisible Fencing of Birmingham. He was a great employee and friend to everyone at our office. He had a very big heart and we will miss him.
— Sharon, Ken, David, & Ashlee Smith
Frank, I hadn’t seen you in a whole but I thought about you all the time. You are my forever brother, blood truly is thicker than water and you showed me that! I love you and will forever miss you!
— Brad Scott
I still can't believe you're gone, I'm waiting to wake up from this horrible nightmare
— Starla

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