Howard Duane Kirk, 78, was born in Cortez, CO on October 23, 1940 to Spence S. Kirk and Pearl Augusta (Coppinger) Kirk.
He passed away September 29, 2019 at Southwest Memorial Hospital with his wife, Maxine, and daughters Kim and Cynthia by his side. His sister Shirley was also there, as she had been there daily to see him through his final journey.
Howard grew up in Cortez, the youngest child with three older sisters who watched over him and spoiled him.
He graduated from Cortez High School in 1958 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force soon after, training as a reciprocal engine mechanic. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity while serving his country from 1958 to 1961.
Howard met Maxine Plumlee in the summer of 1963. He moved to Hayward, CA to work in aircraft maintenance until joining General Motors in Fremont, CA. Howard and Maxine were married in December, 1963. They moved to Fremont and bought their first home. Their youngest daughter Cynthia was born in Oakland on July 11, 1964 and welcomed home by sisters Kim and Lisa.
In 1974 the family returned to Cortez where Howard worked for Bridgewater Trucking Co. as a diesel mechanic, obtaining certification from Cummins Refrigeration to insure that trucks hauling produce were perfectly maintained. He could fix almost anything; his collection of tools was amazing.
Howard loved fishing, hunting, playing golf and playing cards. They had a pontoon boat and enjoyed weekends on McPhee Reservoir. He stayed home after retirement, keeping the yard, a small garden and enjoying flowering plants. He was a life-long member of the American Legion and the Cortez Elks Lodge.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents, sister Leona Bridgewater and 2 infant brothers, Pearl Norton and Spence Leroy.
Howard is survived his wife wife, Maxine; daughters Kim (Kenneth) Hinton of Cortez; Lisa (Richard) Peterson of West Valley, UT; and Cynthia Adams of Cabazon, CA; four grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; sisters Shirley Hanson of Cortez and Virginia (Kenneth) White of Klamath Falls, OR; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Howard Duane Kirk
Published in The Journal on Nov. 11, 2019.