Gerald Kirk of Tacoma, Washington died Monday, December 10, 2018. Gerald moved to the state of Washington from the Churchville, IA area with his family in 1952.
A graveside service will take place at 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 7th at Calvary Cemetery in Churchville, Iowa.
For on-line condolences and flowers select the "send tributes/flowers" tab on this screen or call O'Leary's Flowers in Norwalk at 515-981-0700.
O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services is caring for Gerald's Family. www.olearyfunerals.com (515) 981-0700
Jerry's Life Story
Gerald (Jerry) Patrick Kirk was born June 8, 1939, to Joe and Agnes (Weil), in Des Moines, Iowa. Jerry was raised on the south side of Des Moines and attended Catholic Schools before transferring to Lincoln High School for his final two years of high school. In the 1950s his parents owned a photo booth and would travel around the state taking pictures of fairgoers throughout the summer and early fall. He had fond memories of those days, though the hours were long and there were many days spent on the road. Many of his extended family members were farmers in the Norwalk and Cumming areas, and he spent many summer days as well on the family farms.
After high school, Jerry left Des Moines and hitchhiked to California and enlisted in the Marine Corp. He served for three years, first taking basic training in Bakersfield and finishing his enlistment in Okinawa. After his enlistment ended, Jerry enrolled at Riverside Junior College. A standout football player in high school, Jerry played two years at Riverside and then was recruited to Washington State University in Pullman, WA for his final two years of eligibility. Jerry remained a devoted Cougar alum his entire life and was a passionate WSU football season ticket holder. While at WSU he met Janice Sessler and they were married soon after they both graduated in 1964. They were married for nearly 55 years.
After a short stint in Chicago, Jerry and Janice moved to the Tacoma area where Jan was from originally. He taught for a year at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma and then took a job as a teacher/coach at Kentridge High School in the Kent School District when it opened in 1968. Jerry taught PE and health and coached football and wrestling. With Jerry as an assistant coach, Kentridge won the first football state title in Washington history in 1973. He was the head wrestling coach at Kentridge for 17 years and he retired from teaching at Kentridge in 1994.
Jerry was an avid sailor, owning his boat, Moonwine, for nearly 30 years. He founded the Windseekers racing club at Tyee Marina in Tacoma in the mid-1970s and remained active in the group until he sold his boat in the early 2000’s.
In his later years, Jerry was an avid reader, traveler and golfer. He was a political junkie and could often be found yelling at the TV while watching CSPAN as members of Congress debated an obscure bill.
Jerry passed away after suffering from dementia for many years on December 10, 2018. He lived 79 years, 6 months, and 2 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Agnes Kirk; brothers, Eugene and Richard; and sisters, Marlene and Ann.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Janice Kirk (Sessler); son, Kelly Kirk (wife Andrea McNeely); daughter, Shannon Kirk; and granddaughters, Rowan and Eavan Kirk