William Kirberger

William Jordan Kirberger

1927 - 2020

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Obituary of William Jordan Kirberger

William Jordan Kirberger was born the second of four children to Robert Earl and Margaret Jordan Kirberger on St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March 1927. He died in Tulsa on February 11, 2020. It wouldn’t be unusual for Bill Kirberger to know every person in every room he entered. But even if he didn’t, he was sure to make everyone feel not just comfortable, but like they were the most important one there. For this and so many other reasons, distilling Bill’s very full life into any contained space is just about impossible. His father Earl worked for Service Drilling Company. For more than sixty years, his mother Margaret owned and ran Tulsa’s iconic Margo’s Gift Shop, which opened in the Philcade Building in the mid-1930s, then in the early 1960s moved to Utica Square, where it’s still doing business today. In 1944, Bill graduated from Will Rogers High School along with his brother Bob. Following that, he served in the Navy during WWII. He then returned home to attend Oklahoma A&M College (later known as OSU) following his discharge from the Service in 1946. Shortly thereafter, he transferred to the University of Tulsa and received his business degree in 1951, alongside brothers Bob and Don. He married his wife of 66 years, Jo Ellen “Jody” Reynolds, on June 4, 1948. By the time the family moved to Bartlesville in 1957, Bill and Jody had a son and three daughters. There Bill first worked for International Harvester, then a few years later took the reins of a Chrysler dealership in town. Meanwhile, in 1963, his wife Jody opened and ran the Talisman Gallery in Bartlesville, which quickly became a mecca for the arts in Oklahoma and was open for more than 46 years. In the 1970s, Bill also played a key role in creating and executing a unique business model to provide by-products of glass manufacturing to operators in the oil and gas industry. Bill loved sailing as much as possible with family and friends aboard “Sandcastle” in the Caribbean and aboard “Amazing Grace” on Grand Lake. Reading adventure novels was a passion since childhood. He also loved golfing any time he had the chance, and fishing in Costa Rica, Mexico and in the lakes around Oklahoma. But his favorite part of all of this was being with the people who surrounded him. His clever sense of humor was known far and wide, and it stayed with him all the days of his life. Bill was also a loving and loyal son, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend to so, so many. No one who met him could ever forget him, and he touched the lives of everyone who crossed his path. He was predeceased by his parents, wife, and son William Jordan Kirberger, Jr.; sister Ann Nelson; sisters-in-law Clevanne Kirberger and Ruth Ann Treon; and brothers-in-law Frederick Nelson and Charles Hilbert Reynolds. Bill’s spirit sails on in the hearts of his brothers, Bob Kirberger and Don Kirberger; sister-in-law Phyllis Kirberger; daughters Karol Kirberger, Jan Kirberger and Laura Haas; grandsons Lyle Baker, Will Wadsworth, Alex Wadsworth, Jesse Kirberger and Marlon Savinelli; his caregiver, Joy Clemmer; and his many beloved nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, please send donations for the benefit of the Bartlesville YMCA. Ninde Brookside, 918-742-5556