Elizabeth Ann Bole Kirkpatrick



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Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Bole was the second daughter born to George Smedley and Alwilda (Milliken) Bole. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where her father worked for the South Penn Oil Company. Not long after her father moved the family to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1913, George Bole became director of the Exchange National Bank and the Exchange Trust Company.

Betty grew up on a 31-acre estate named Oakwold which would later house the private school Holland Hall. Throughout her days growing up, Betty and her family traveled extensively including to several equestrian events where the family showed their horses, and Betty herself rode.

Like her mother, Betty became a member of the Tulsa Junior League. She also enrolled in 1933 at Gulf Park College, a two-year private school in Gulfport, Mississippi. After graduation, Betty returned to Tulsa, and, sometime in 1937, met Claude Siceluff Kirkpatrick. Claude was serving aboard the USS Ralph Talbot at the time. They were married on November 5, 1937 at Oakwold.

Betty and Claude moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. She remained until the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 which forced her to return to Tulsa. In January 1939, she was able to rejoin Claude in New London, Connecticut. Later that spring, on March 29, the couple’s first son, John Bole was born. The family remained in New London until Claude resigned from the Navy, and the family moved to Detroit, Michigan where he took a job with General Motors Corporation.

In August 1939, George S. Bole died. Claude and Betty their infant son returned to Tulsa. After Claude was recalled to active duty, he left for Florida and then Michigan. Betty would not see her husband again until December, though on September 18 she had her second son, Brian Spencer. In March 1942 the boys and Betty would move to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin after Claude was reassigned there. The family then moved to Miami Beach in April 1942.

In June 1943, Betty and the boys returned to Tulsa to live with her sister Mary until December when they would move to Coconut Grove in Florida where Claude was stationed. They returned to Tulsa again in June 1944, renting a house there while Claude served aboard the USS Scott. Betty and the children would not move again during the war.

In January 1946, Claude and Betty bought a home in Tulsa where Claude would become chairman of the School Board. While remaining active in the community for the next few years, they would eventually move in June 1949 to build a home in Hillsborough, California where her mother had remarried Zebulon Paul Owings in 1944. In 1951 Claude returned to active. In 1954, Betty and her sister Mary flew to Japan where Claude was serving as Naval Attaché to the American Embassy. Later, in October, Betty and Claude enjoyed a trip together that included Rome, Paris, and Geneva.

In January 1956, Betty and Claude moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In June of that year, Betty and the boys sailed aboard the USS President Cleveland for Japan. John and Brian enrolled in The American School in Tokyo that September. The family lived in a home together in Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo.

After John Bole Kirkpatrick graduated from The American School in 1957, he returned to the United States where he attended the University of Oklahoma. Brian also returned to California where he graduated in June 1958.

In July 1959, Betty and Claude flew from Tokyo across Europe eventually arriving in New York via the SS United States. Their son John continued at the University of Oklahoma while his younger brother Brian enrolled in Georgetown University. In 1960 the family left Washington, D.C. to return to their home in Hillsborough, California. In June 1961 Betty would see her son John graduate from Oklahoma and enter the naval reserves, being stationed initially in Japan. Claude and Betty would visit him in October 1962. The following year back in the United States, Claude and Betty celebrated their second son, Brian, graduating from Georgetown to take a job in Washington, D.C. with the State Department.

In 1966 Betty would see her first grandchild, Thomas Claude Kirkpatrick born to Brian and his wife Joan (Andrew) Kirkpatrick. In July, Brian and his family would move to Bangkok, and Betty and Claude would fly there in November 1966 to spend the holidays with them. Betty and Claude also saw their second grandson, Douglas Andrew, born to Brian and Joan.

In the latter years they shared together, Betty and Claude would travel extensively in Europe. They also made several trips to Colorado, Santa Barbara, California, and Oklahoma City. Many of these visits especially between 1972 and 1973 were to Betty’s ailing mother who died On January 21, 1973. Betty herself would die on April 34, 1974.