IRMO - Sophie Louanne Kirkland died at the age of 57 on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, after combining forces with "Wonder Woman" and waging her own, personal war against cancer. The time of death reflected on her watch was "NOW."
Louanne was born on June 2, 1962, in Wagener. She grew up in Sumter and Irmo, graduating from Irmo High School in 1980. She held a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston, a Master of Arts degree in health/counseling from the University of North Florida, and she was a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina. Over her career, Louanne worked as a therapist and as an in-home counselor to children and families, most recently in Seneca. Much of her work focused on helping women and children with significant life challenges.
Louanne was an athlete, a Parrothead, a surfer, a true believer in saltwater therapy, knowing mother ocean would heal wounds, and a friend to everyone she met.
Louanne was predeceased by her brother, Dana Dunbar Kirkland of Sumter; her father, Harold Norman Kirkland of Sumter; and her mother, Billie Dunbar Kirkland of Chapin. Louanne was especially close to her mother and Louanne provided loving and diligent end-of-life care for her person, Billie.
Louanne is survived by her brother, Stephen Patrick Kirkland (Janie) of Chapin; and her sister, Kathleen Kirkland Brunson (Robert) of Sullivans Island. Louanne was the fun Aunt every child wants to have, showing sincere interest in the lives of her niece and nephews, Brandon Kirkland (Kedron) of Chapin, Brantley Kirkland (Wendy) of Sumter, as well as Clarke and Dana Brunson of Sullivan's Island.
In the final year of her life, Louanne checked off every item on her bucket list, including swimming with the dolphins, skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping, seeing "Hamilton" on Broadway, traveling to San Francisco and Costa Rica, and attending her last Jimmy Buffett concert in Las Vegas, while wearing her very first Jimmy Buffet T-shirt circa 1975. Louanne was a tornado of glitter and sunshine, spreading good vibes and hearty laughs everywhere she went. Her final wish was for her friends and family to do what Jimmy Buffett would do: "Don't try to explain it just bow your head, Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On."
The family will receive visitors at the home of Stephen and Janie Kirkland to celebrate her life from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Guests are encouraged to dress casually as Louanne did - flip flops and T-shirts recommended.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dana Dunbar Kirkland Scholarship, University of South Carolina School of Music, 813 Assembly St., Room 124, Columbia, SC 29208 (Attn: Polly Laffitte).
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family.
Family and friends may sign the online guest book at www.southcarolinacremation.com
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