ALVIN WILLARD KIRKHAM
Alvin Willard, the third son of George and Mary Russon Kirkham was born 31 Jul 1894 in Lehi, Utah. He married Rae Kathryn Rose on 13 June 1923 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Alvin received his early education in the elementary schools and graduated from Lehi, High School. He was President of the Lehi High School Student Body and Salutatorian, Class of 1914. He gained four letters in athletics & Drama Club.
He advanced in the Priesthood and active in his duties in the Church. He served as President of the following Quorums of Priesthood: Deacons, Teachers and Priests. Later in life he advanced to High Priest. He was chorister of the Sunday School in the Lehi Fourth Ward. He also served as President of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association of Phoenix, Arizona Second Ward. When Alvin had a duty to perform he did it to the utmost. He kept a strict adherence to the Word of Wisdom as was taught by his parents.
Alvin received his BS degree in 1923 from the University of Utah. He attended the Brigham Young University and the University of California at Los Angeles. At the University of Utah he was Headmaster of Delta Sigma Pi, member of the Men’s Glee Club and Symphony Orchestra.
He served as principal, Freemont Schools, Wayne County, Utah. In Salt Lake City, he was efficiency engineer for the Burroughs Adding Machine Company and in Phoenix, Arizona, State Manager of Illinois Bankers Life Assurance Company and in California, Los Angeles, County Department of Youth Rehabilitation.
Alvin’s war service was very extensive. He was Lehi, Utah’s first volunteer for duty overseas in World War I. He was decorated by the French Government with the highest Unit Citation, the Fleur-de-lis Bade and Cord. It was bestowed at Chaumont, France, in a significant demonstration of the Allied Armies, in the presence of Marshal Foch and John J. Pershing.
Excerpts from Alvin’s Military Discharge: “Service August 13, 1917 to Sep 27, 1919. Sea Services USS Von Stueben Feb. 5 to 25, 1918. Foreign service: Serve with 97th Company, 6th Regt., USMC and A.E.F. Rank Sergeant. Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions: St. Miheil Sector, Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Champagne Sector), March to the Rhine River, Nov. 17 to Dec. 1918. Army of Occupation in Coblenz Bridgehead, Dec. 10 to Mar. 7 1919. Hospitalized at Coblenz Bridgehead, Germany, March 8, 1919 to May 1, 1919. French army Hospital May 5, to May 11, 1919. Sustained shrapnel and gas injuries near Thiacourt, France. Left France aboard U.S.S. Manchuria May 1, 1919 for Brooklyn Naval Hospital, transferred to Great Lakes Naval Hospital, June to September 27, 1919. Honorably discharged upon review of medical survey for disability.
Alvin and Rae made their home for many years in Los Angeles.
Children of Alvin Willard and Rae Kathryn Rose Kirkham
Willard Edmond Kirkham
Viva Rae Kirkham Ridler
Guinevere Kirkham Gual
Dan Romaine Kirkham
George Alvin Kirkham
Matta Lael Kirkham Lile
Avalon Adele Kirkham Lanza