Longtime Oklahoma Public Servant and OPERS Board of Trustee, Don Kirkpatrick.

DoKilpatrick, longtime Oklahoma public servant and OPERS Board of Trustees member, passed away on September 8, 2023, in Naples, Florida. He was 84 years old.  

Kilpatrick was an influential force in both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma State Senate where he served from 1970 to 1984. He was appointed to the OPERS Board of Trustees in 1985, making him the longest-serving Trustee in the Board’s history.  While on the Board, he filled many roles, including Chair of the Investment Committee and as Chairman of the Board. He is credited for guiding OPERS to transition into a diversified investment system, ensuring financial security to fund retirees’ budgets for years to come.  

“Mr. Kilpatrick’s uncommon commitment to the State of Oklahoma was evident in his decades of service as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of OPERS and as a champion for state employees,” said OPERS Executive Director, Joe Fox. “He knew and appreciated the importance of providing an income stream in retirement to those employees who spent a lifetime serving the people of Oklahoma. He was the architect of the investment philosophy still in use by OPERS today, which acknowledged that the objective of providing benefits to retirees by achieving competitive investment returns at a low cost is to the benefit of the membership and to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma. His long service on the Board is appreciated and his leadership will be missed.” 

“The OPERS Board of Trustees would like to extend its gratitude for the leadership, foresight, and dedication Mr. Kilpatrick provided for the employees of the State of Oklahoma.  His actions and prudence while serving on the board helped put a system in place that state employees can rely on for a secure future in their retirement,” said Brandy Manek, Chair of the OPERS Board of Trustees.  

Kilpatrick is survived by his wife Tammie, sons Kent and Ryan, daughters-in-law Angela and Mary Ellen and granddaughter, Jules.  

A memorial service will be held on October 12, 2023, at 4 p.m. at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City. Details of the service, donations and his life are available through Hodges Funeral Home. 


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