Tyrone Kirkland Obituary, Legendary Flint fashion designer dies at 56

Tyrone Kirkland Obituary, Death – Mr. Tyrone Kirkland, 56, a Flint native and fashion designer who was a driving force behind high school proms, bridal and wedding celebrations, and the Midwest’s beautiful dress movement, died on December 31, 2022. T.K.O. Designs, his flagship brand, made local, national, and international waves in the fashion industry, with his one-of-a-kind designs appearing on supermodels, celebrities, television advertisements, runways, magazines, and newspapers across the country. If you had a TKO design, you were the focus of attention in every room you entered. “Just call…Tyrone!” he said, referring to the best in creative and custom-tailored designs.

Johnson and Johnson’s Ebony Fashion Fair purchased his ensembles for their international traveling fashion exhibition after noticing his inventiveness. Tyrone has always stated that superstars such as Diana Ross, Joan Crawford, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, and his mother, Barbara Kirkland, influenced him to pursue a career as a fashion designer. Tyrone attended Paragon Vocational Nursing School after graduating from Flint Northwestern High School in 1985. He obtained credentials in fashion design from the Institute of Merchandising and Design Fashion Illustration and Textiles in 1988. His passion for fashion impacted his desire to assist others, particularly those in need of medical attention.

He worked in the direct care health services field for about 15 years, holding a variety of positions at regional hospitals and nursing homes in both Wisconsin and Michigan. Tyrone put his degree to good use as a registered nursing assistant in Michigan, a trained first aid specialist, and a certified CPR professional. Tyrone’s expertise in healthcare encouraged him to launch his own direct care company, “My Home Cares, Inc.” in 2001, which focused on offering clients with non-medical home-care services. His expertise as a private care duty specialist benefited a wide range of clients and their families, including the elderly and those with special needs. Tyrone’s previous patient, Dr. Carol Levy, stated, “Ty has become like a son to me, and his care for me makes me feel like I’m a member of his family.” Everyone was won over by his upbeat personality. His entrepreneurial attitude extended to his rental houses, where his love of interior design and housing was evident in every home he owned.

Tyrone’s faith in Jesus Christ was evident in everything he did. He joined Hand of God Ministries in 2014 and aggressively urged people to visit or participate in the “HOGM Experience.” He evangelized wherever he went, even handing out business cards with the slogan “Jesus Loves You” to onlookers. He valued his faith, music, design, singing, working on his enterprises, and spending time with his family and dog Coco. He was a father, special parent, life coach, mentor, and advocate for all those in his care despite never marrying or having his own children. His devoted mother and confidante, Barbara Kirkland, departs to cherish his memories. Among the five siblings are Timothy (Sheri) Kirkland of Flint, Deacon Tony (Sharon) Kirkland of Indianapolis, Indiana, Rev. Thomas Kirkland of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and two sisters-Deaconess Terri Lynn Kirkland of Burton, Michigan, and favorite sister Dr. Tonya (Bishop Le) Bailey of Flint Township, Michigan. Uncles: Harold (Frankye) Calloway of Evansville, IN; DeWayne (Lynn) Calloway of Flushing, MI; Jerome (Radean) Kirkland of Philadelphia, MS; Pauline (Mackie) Clemons of Philadelphia, MS; Joe (OraMae) Kirkland of Flint, MI; and Raymond Kirkland of Flint, MI.

Flint, Michigan, Rev. Jessie McIntosh, McIntosh, William Derek (Rebecca) of Grand Blanc, Michigan, Kevin McIntosh, a resident of Mt. Morris, Michigan, Bettye Jo Riley of Meridian, Mississippi, and Jennifer Riley-Collins of Jackson, Mississippi Eddie (Willie) Thames, a resident of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is a Cedric (Melissa) Calloway of Mississippi, LaShaunta and Gabby Hairston Calloway of Flint, Michigan, and Linda Calloway of Mississippi. Brenda Floyd and Anthony (Jamise) Floyd are both from Flint, Michigan; Nikki (Taran) McZee is from Grand Rapids, Michigan; Jarel (Bianca) Floyd is from Memphis, Tennessee; Shannon and Triniti Halbedel and Norleta Simmons are both from Flint, Michigan; Simone (Daryl) Gaines is from Lansing, Michigan; and Stephanie Bryant is from Flushing, Michigan.

Special acquaintances include Dr. Bobby and Dr. Leah Levy of Wisconsin, Mary Mitchell of Flint, MI, Howard Wright of Flint, MI, and Jackie (Faye) Davis of Burton, MI. Tab and Tom Norman of Flint, Michigan; Eureka Goodman of Flint, Michigan; D’Wanda (Cookie) Hawkins of Flint, Michigan; Kenny Rampton of New York; the Farrah Family; and employees Jim Ward and Billy James of Mt. Morris, Michigan; and Jason Hightower of Flint. Bennie King, Dr. Linda Itson, Rev. Jay W. Callahan, and Dr. A. Jeffrey (Arjetta) LaValley of Flint; Le Bailey Sr. of Lapeer, MI; Johnnie Mayfield and Elder Kenneth Gillard of Grand Blanc, MI; Donna (Fred) Poplar of Mt. Morris, MI; and the Ashburn Family are among those who have expressed their condolences. Flint, Michigan residents Wilbert “Papa” (Cynthia) Jarrett, Jackie Poplar, Deacon Al, and Venare Jones are among the cast members. Erma J. Stokes, Eric and Kevin Carter are all residents of Atlanta. Among those honored are Terry Clarke of Tennessee, Stephanie and Steve Washington of Texas, and Pauline Pryor of Texas.

Mr. Tyrone Kirkland was predeceased by his father, Henry Kirkland Jr., as well as grandparents Henry Kirkland Sr. and Lottie Kirkland, Queenie Calloway, and Sam Brantley. In addition to several Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins. Hand of God Ministries, Dr. Stephanie West, and the entire Ascension ICU third and fourth floor team; Legacy Funeral Chapel and staff; and Ascension Hospital and employees would want to express their gratitude. Many thanks to all of the people who have shown goodwill to the Kirkland and Bailey families. Please make a donation to the Foundation/Scholarship established in Tyrone’s name in lieu of flowers. To donate, transfer money to HAND OF GOD MINISTRIES C/O TKO via the cash apps $hogmflint or $Baileytc, or go to www.hogmflint.org.

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