Chapter Eternal: Walton Kirk, Jr., Illinois ’43

Jan 11, 2013

CHAPTER ETERNAL (Illinois) — Walton “Walt” Kirk Jr., went to his eternal rest on Dec. 12, 2012. He was being cared for at Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque. Walt courageously battled Parkinsons Disease.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, with Pastor Thomas Young officiating. Friends may call from 9:30  10:15 a.m., Saturday at the Church. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery, with military honors accorded by the American Legion Post # 6 of Dubuque.

Walt was born on September 3, 1924, in Mt. Vernon, Ill., the son of Walton and Gertrude Kirk. He graduated from Mt. Vernon, Illinois Township High School in 1942. He received his BA from the University of Illinois in 1947 and his MA from Loras College in 1972. Walt married Alyce “Joan” (Hitter) of Ottawa, IL on September 11, 1949.

Walt was a standout basketball player at Mt. Vernon, Illinois High School, earning 1st Team All State Honors in 1942. He played for the University of Illinois Basketball Team from 1942-1947, earning 1st Team All Big 10 Honors, Team Captain & “Consensus” All American in 1945. As a sophomore he played as 6th man with the famed Whiz Kids of Illinois, who won back to back Big 10 Championships. Walt went on to play 5 years in the NBA for the Pistons, Blackhawks (Coach Red Auerbach), Anderson Packers, Indianapolis Jets and the Hawks.

Walt was a Veteran of WWII, having served in the U.S. Army.

Walt left the NBA to begin his career as a high school basketball coach, teacher, mentor and assistant principal at Harvard Illinois High School (1952), Salem Illinois High School (1952-1960), Dubuque Senior High School (1960-1969) and Hempstead High School (1969-1986). Walt was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dubuque.

In retirement Walt enjoyed walking, meeting for coffee with friends, golf, music, and sporting events. Walt dedicated his life to family, friends and the positive development of young people, his passion and purpose.

Surviving are his daughter, Debbi (Bruce) Herreilers of Franklin, Mass., his son, Doug Kirk of Dana Point, Cal. and family friend, Jeanne Beeghley of Dubuque. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Alyce “Joan” Kirk and his parents, Walton Sr. and Gertrude (Mt. Vernon, Ill.).

A Walk Kirk memorial fund has been established with funds going to Parkinson’s Disease Research, Westminster Church and Stonehill Care Center. Online condolences may be left for the family at the funeral home’s website in Dubuque, Iowa:

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Pastor Tom Young, Drs. Mozena and Moran, Mercy Medical Center and the staff at Stonehill Care Center.

*The original article – as well as a ‘memorial message’ wall – may be found here.


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