Larry Gene “Big Daddy” Kirkland, Jr., age 57, resident of Phenix City, Alabama, passed away on Thursday, November 17, 2022 at his residence. Funeral services are scheduled at the Chapel of Vance Brooks Funeral Home, 3738 US Hwy 431N, Phenix City, Alabama on Monday, November 21, 2022, 2 p.m. with Reverend Ed Grifenhagen officiating. Interment will follow at Lakeview Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday, November 20, 2022 from 3-5 p.m.
Mr. Kirkland, son of Jane Stewart Kirkland and the late Larry Gene Kirkland, Sr., was born November 18, 1964 at Fort Benning, Georgia. As a long- time resident of the area and graduate of Auburn University, he was known for many years in the Columbus/Phenix City area as the Owner and Operator of Picasso Pizzeria and Uptown Tap until he retired in 2021. Prior to owning these establishments, Mr. Kirkland had been in the restaurant business throughout his life with a total of over 28 years. Besides his hardwork and long hours in the restaurant business, he dedicated himself to the people in the area by feeding the homeless every Thanksgiving, donating food, and working in conjunction with Toys for Tots and was always happy to sponsor youth sport programs. Mr. Kirkland, a Christian and Baptist by faith, enjoyed Alabama Football, going to movies and other restaurants, and attending sporting events. At home, most people would see him spending time in his garden, watching classic westerns and his favorite – The Cooking Channel. Most of all, Mr. Kirkland looked forward to spending quality time with his family, particularly his grandchildren. The family remembers him as a good witty man who made people smile and laugh – but most of all a man with a genuine good heart for others.
Besides his father, he was preceded in death by his life partner, Melissa Kirkland; a brother, Christopher Sean Kirkland; and maternal grandparents, Paul and Elizabeth Stewart. He is survived by two daughters, Kristen Kirkland of Panama City Beach, Florida and Savannah Stewart and her husband Frank of Columbus, Georgia; son, Kevin Kirkland of Phenix City, Alabama; his mother, Jane Kirkland Brown of Columbus; two sisters, Kelly Ann Kirkland of Ellaville, Georgia and Janet Lee DeRhodes and her husband Rick of Norwood, North Carolina; seven grandchildren, Bentley, Kaleb, Noah, Isaiah, Carter, Amelia, and “King” Nate; many other relatives and friends.
There will be a collection box for any toys you would like to bring to the visitation or the funeral service.
Flowers are accepted or contributions can be made to Toys for Tots at www.toysfortotsusa.org.