In Loving Memory of Don Kirkpatrick

Dr. Don Kirkpatrick

It is with much sadness but also great joy for his rich, full life that we announce that Don Kirkpatrick has passed away. His obituary is below. 

Earlier this year, Don humbly reflected on his legacy and challenged us all to think about how we can contribute to the greater good

Click here to see some of our favorite photos of Don.

Click here to read Jim’s touching letter to his father.

Dr. Donald L. Kirkpatrick passed away peacefully on May 9, 2014, with close family by his side.

Don was a luminary in the training and development industry. His four levels of training evaluation created in the 1950s became the industry standard for measuring the impact of training programs.

Don was the author of eight books on training evaluation and human resource management topics, including Evaluating Training Programs, 3rd edition. He was a dynamic speaker who made presentations worldwide. Don is fondly remembered for his use of the overhead projector and transparencies long after most had transitioned to electronic presentation media.

Don was honored for his contribution to the training industry with numerous awards, including the ASTD Lifetime Achievement Award, ASTD Legend in Training and Development, ASTD Gordon M. Bliss Award and Training Magazine Hall of Fame membership. Don was also proud to be a U.S. Army veteran who served during World War II.

Don’s work is carried on by his son, Jim, and daughter-in-law, Wendy, through their company, Kirkpatrick Partners. They are honored to be able to continue Don’s seminal work.

Don was the father of Jim (Wendy), Sue (Rick), Doug, and Ted (Cristy). He is also survived by 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Fern, his beloved wife of 63 years, passed away 2 months ago. Don lived a full, rich 90 years loving the Lord, family, missions, music, sports, and games. He was an Elmbrook Church elder and a Gideon. 

Visitation and a memorial service for Don will be held on Thursday, May 15, at 9:00 and 10:00 am, respectively, at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. In lieu of flowers, the family requests check contributions to the Madison Symphony Orchestra. A concert will be held in Don and Fern’s honor in 2015 to celebrate their love of music.