Music 10

Ira "Pig" "Ike" Kirkwood

May 1, 1947 ~ July 10, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old


Ira Lee “Pig” “Ike” was born May 1, 1947 to the late Willie Ira Kirkwood and Eddie Bell Blakley Kimmons. He was raised by his dear grandmother the late Lydia Ann “Lottie” Blakley.

Ike accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age and joined East St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church. Once he relocated to St. Louis, MO he still attended churches in the St. Louis Area. He is a member of Central High School Class of 1965 in Oxford, MS.

As a young boy growing up in Oxford, MS he was a member of a gospel group his cousin and friends formed, called "Mighty Stars of Harmony" where he sang Top and played the guitar. Ira learned how to play the guitar from a dear neighbor and friend, Earl Owens.

Upon moving to St. Louis in the early 1960s with his dear cousin and mentor, John Herdon who was a quartet group manager for the Gospel Aires. In 2008, he and some of the original Aires formed a new group called the Nu Gospel Aires, where he was the lead singer and booking manager.

He was employed with ABF for many years and retired from there. In 2009 after doing various trucking jobs, he became a member of The Building Unions Diversity Program Transportation Team until his death.

He loved playing the guitar and singing for the Lord. He will be remembered for his kind spirit, that hilarious laugh, stylish demeanor and all the acts of kindness he showed to others.

Ike departed this life on July 10, 2023 at his residence in St. Louis, MO.

Ike leaves to cherish his memories one daughter, Linda “Lynn” Kirkwood of St. Louis, MO and one son, Ira Lee Kirkwood Jr. of Ruskin, FL; three grandchildren Germain Kirkwood of St. Louis, MO, Thomas DeWayne (TyKia) Kirkwood of Ruskin, FL and Kristen Kirkwood of Las Vegas; four sisters Mattie Foster of Grand Rapids, MI, Rosie Evans of Dallas, TX, Mary (Elton) Pegues of Oxford, MS and Martha Kimmons-Pegues of Oxford, MS; a cousin who was like a brother Ernest Eugene (Wilean) Hill of East St. Louis, IL; The Nu Gospel Aires of St. Louis, MO and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He is preceded in death by his parents; Willie Ira Kirkwood and Eddie Bell Blakley Kimmons, his maternal grandmother Lydia Ann “Lottie” Blakley, his son Alvin Dewayne Kirkwood and sister and brother.

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July 28, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Layne Renaissance Chapel
7302 West Florissant Ave
Jennings, MO 63136


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