John L. Kirk Jr.

Published 3:41 pm Friday, October 9, 2015

John L. Kirk Jr. died on October 6, 2015 at Troy Regional HospitalTroy AL at the age of 92. A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Troy Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm. The family will receive friends from 1 – 2:30 pm in the church parlor.

John, the son of John L. Kirk, Sr. and Hazel MacKenzie of BirminghamAL, was born September 6, 1923. He is survived by his wife Dr. Eloise Thomason Kirk, daughter Rosalyn (Zack) Godwin , sons, Dr. John B (Wanda Carol) Kirk and Richard Thomason Kirk, granddaughter Amberleigh Kirk (Brian) Lee and grandson Jonathan Godwin (Ashley) as well as fourteen nieces and nephews.

John grew up in Jefferson County moving to Tarrant CityAL when his father opened Kirk Hay and Grain in the building owned by the grandfather of his son’s future wife. He graduated from Gulf Coast Military Academy in Gulf Shores MS entering the US Marine Corps in 1943. He was honorably discharged for medical reasons in 1945. He entered Howard College in Birmingham (Samford University) on the GI Bill in 1945 marrying his wife of 67 years in 1947 while they both continued their studies. He was ordained as a deacon in the Central Baptist and help found McElwan (now Crestway Baptist) where John and Eloise began worshiping when it was still a mission.

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After graduation from Howard College in 1949, he began his Civil Service career as an Internal Revenue Service Agent in Birmingham. After moving to establish an IRS office in ThomasvilleAL he left the IRS opening his first accounting practice in 1956. In 1964, he moved his accounting practice to Troy, where he and Mack Gibson began working together and in due course formed Kirk and Gibson, Public Accountants. John and Mack continued their friendship until the moment of his death.

John reentered Civil Service a Department of the Army Internal Review Auditor at Ft. RuckerAL. He ultimately retired after serving as the Internal Auditor for Lyster ArmyHospital. During the later years of his hospital work, he began sponsoring an informal weekly prayer breakfast at the hospital, which grew into a post wide activity. Upon his retirement he volunteered with the American Red Cross at Lyster Hospital in a number of roles including the unofficial chaplain for another 21 years. Volunteering at the hospital was the maturation of the “Peppermint Man” passing out peppermints to patients and nurses then friends, neighbors and finally almost everyone he met.

His contributions as a volunteer were honored in many different forms including: Volunteer Appreciation Awards and he also received special awards including: The Clara Barton Leadership Award, NOCA Military Excellence Award and in 2009 the Quilts for Valor Award from the Quilts for Valor Foundation.

John’s true calling was singing in his church choir and later joining Troy‘s barbershop quartet, The Dixie Cut Ups. He was a member of a church choir for nearly 80 years. The Dixie Cut Ups rehearsed at his home this past year creating a special memory for him.

The Pall Bearers are Sam Adams, Jim Clower, Mack Gibson, Jonathan Godwin. Danny Graham, Brian Lee, Allen Phillips and Jerry Vinson.

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