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Donald J. Kirk

July 9, 1928 November 16, 2019
Donald J. Kirk
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Obituary for Donald J. Kirk

Donald J. Kirk left this world on November 16, 2019 after a brief illness in Kent General Hospital. He was 91. Don was born on July 9, 1928 in Nottingham, PA to the late Thomas R. Kirk and Mary Nickle Kirk. He was raised in Colora, MD and worked on the family farm. Don attended Jacob Tome Institute in Port Deposit, MD and graduated in 1946. He was president of the student council, worked on the school newspaper, and held the leading role in his senior play. According to his yearbook, he was always the life of the party, quick to tell a joke, and considered the class clown.

After graduating from school, Don went to visit a cousin in Miami, FL and got a job as a baggage handler for a small airline owned by Eddie Rickenbacker. He met his wife, Verna, when she came to Miami on vacation. They went on a blind date and he proposed in December of 1946. They were married in May of 1947. It was then that they realized they had grown up and lived within 5 miles of each other but had never met until in Miami. They moved back to Maryland in 1948, and Don worked on the family farm again. He then worked as a Milkman for Mt. Ararat Dairy. In 1953 Don and Verna purchased property outside of Rising Sun, MD. They cut down the trees and milled the lumber for their first home. In 1955 Don was hired by Canteen Food and Vending in Baltimore, MD. In 1959, Canteen made Don the office supervisor at the Dover Branch, serving Dover Air Force Base. Before moving to Delaware, Don served in the Maryland National Guard.

After working for 33 years for Canteen, Don retired and started driving cars from auto auctions to Holden Dodge in Dover. His love for driving expanded into Kirk’s Transportation, driving friends and acquaintances to airports, doctors’ appointments, and anywhere they needed to go.

Mr. Kirk believed in serving his community. He was a people-person and was always willing to help when needed. He was a 43-year member of Dover Elks Lodge #1903 where he served as secretary for 20 years, and he was also a member of Union Lodge #7. He served 58 years in the Dover Lions Club, serving as president in 1971, holding the office of treasurer for 27 years, and serving on the board for many years. He was the last original committee member of the Lions Club Annual Chicken Fry and he took great pride in the fact that he sold over 300 Chicken Fry tickets every year. The 9000 tickets Don sold over 27 years generated over $63,000 for people needing help with eye glasses and other sight-related problems. Don received multiple recognitions and awards for his hard work in all these organizations. For his service to the Lions Club, he was presented with the Ralph Helm Fellowship and the Progressive Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest recognition a club member can receive.

Don was an avid baseball fan. He took his children to Orioles and Phillies games as they were growing up and passed on his love of the game to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a Phillies season-ticket holder for 40 years; enjoying games at Connie Mack Stadium, the Vet, and Citizens Bank Park. On his 80th birthday, his son, Dan, gave him a cane made from a Louisville Slugger bat. At every opportunity he would ask players, commentators, and other people at the stadium to sign his cane. Don also enjoyed traveling, bowling on a league with his wife Verna, and flying in a hot air balloon piloted by his son, Captain Kirk. When he wasn’t riding in the balloon, he was driving the chase vehicle.

In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Verna, his son, Daniel T. Kirk, and his brother, William E. Kirk. Don is survived by son Donald “Buddy” Kirk and his wife Sandra of Corpus Christi, TX, daughters Pamala Joy of Ashland, OR and Sandi Billings of Dover, grandchildren Becky, David (Kristen), Crystal (Jacen), Kelly (Brent), Michael (Melissa), Wesley (Stacey), Cortni, Andrew (Rachael), Sydney, and Matthew, 12 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are brother Leonard Kirk and his wife Goldie of Sykesville, MD, brother Robert “Bob” Kirk and his wife Ruth Ann of Metairie, LA, and caregivers Irmgard Jones, Mary Jane Hudson, and Mary Shivick.

Funeral services will be held 12 pm Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the Torbert Funeral Chapel, 1145 E. Lebanon Rd, (Rt. 10), Dover, DE 19904. Friends may call from 6-9pm Friday evening where Don will be honored by the Elks and Masonic Lodges. The family would like to encourage all who would like to honor Don to wear their favorite baseball gear in support of his passion for the game. Interment will be in Sharon Hills Memorial Park, Dover.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Purple Heart Veterans or the Dover Lions Club, PO Box 532, Dover, DE 19903, to benefit the Delaware Eye Bank.

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Upcoming Events





1:00 PM 12/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road

1145 E. Lebanon Road
Dover, DE 19901

Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 E. Lebanon Road Dover 19901 DE
United States

Previous Events





6:00 PM 12/6/2019 6:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 12/6/2019 9:00:00 PM
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road

1145 E. Lebanon Road
Dover, DE 19901

Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 E. Lebanon Road Dover 19901 DE
United States

Cemetery Details


Sharon Hills Memorial Park Final Resting Place

2928 Sharon Hill Road
Dover, DE 19904

2928 Sharon Hill Road Dover 19904 DE
United States

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