Robert Irving Kirk, Jr., Educator, World War II Veteran, Dies At 88
Led the fight to change the name of South Belmar to Lake Como
Courtesy of Legacy.com
Robert Irvine Kirk, Jr.
AGE: 88 • Lake Como
Robert Irvine Kirk, Jr. passed away on March 21, 2014 at his home in Lake Como, NJ.
Born in Newark, he lived most of his life in Kearny. He moved to Lake Como in 1980. Robert was a graduate of Kearny High School, where he attained All-State honors in both soccer and basketball. His goal was to be selected All-State in baseball, but WWII broke out and in March of his senior year he joined the United States Navy completing his high school education in boot camp.
He proudly served his four years as an electrician on the aircraft carrier USS Card. Upon his discharge from service he attended Upsala College in East Orange. He was able to once again play basketball while working on his education. He completed his college education in a little more than three years. Reason being at this time he was engaged to his high school sweetheart and they had decided to marry after he earned his degree. He wanted college over as soon as possible and three days after his last class he married the love of his life.
At this time he purchased a delicatessen, liquor store and catering business, Kirks Deli of North Arlington, which he operated for fourteen years. After selling the delicatessen and liquor store he embarked on what would become this career love, education.
Bob returned to Kearny High School to begin his teaching career. He taught English and economics. He had a gift for the job probably because he loved it so much. He was often selected favorite teacher. He ended his education career as Dean of Students overseeing the discipline of the school.
After retirement he remained on as the Director of the Kearny Adult School. His main focus was to expand the GED program. Always believing in the need for an education and realizing that a second chance is what may be needed. This was one of his proudest achievements.
After retiring from education Bob now had the time to cheer on his beloved Red Sox's and pursue his passion, golf. He became involved in the Monmouth County Senior Men's League, playing for many years. At this time he began playing golf once a week during the summer with his son. As he would often say "this was one of the best things we ever did, first we were father and son, then we were friends, and then we became golf partners." It does not get better than that.
Not being able to just sit around Bob found that he still had the education bug. He ran and was elected to the Lake Como Board of Education. He also served on the Manasquan Board and the Belmar Board as a sending district representative. Always making sure the children of Lake Como were well represented. As with much of his life he always looked to improve things Feeling a name change would benefit the Borough of South Belmar he launched a campaign to change the name to Lake Como. Found out what he had to do. Got the signatures needed to get a ballot question and then was able to convince the voters that this was a good idea. Often jokingly among his friends and family he was referred to as the father of Lake Como.
Daddoo, as he was known by his grandchildren, will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, his love of life and family, and those Wednesday night walks to the deli for candy.
Today we say goodbye to one of the Greatest of the Greatest Generation.
Robert was predeceased by his father Robert I. Kirk Sr., mother Agnes Kirk, brother Donald Kirk, and many uncles and aunts. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years Evelyn; his son, Robert G. Kirk and wife Bernadette; his three grandchildren Robert J. Kirk, Kevin Kirk and his wife Kerrie; and his princess Kimberlee Kirk.
Visitation will be held at O'Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Highway 35, Wall, on Monday, March 24, 2014 from 2-4 and 7-9pm. A funeral service will be offered at the funeral home on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 11am with entombment to follow at Atlantic View Cemetery, Manasquan. In lieu of flowers, donations can be send to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908. For more information or to send condolences, visit www.obrienfuneralhome.com.