Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

Dr. Gerald Ray Kirk

December 13, 1935 - August 28, 2015

Obituary

Gerald KirkGerald Ray Kirk, went to be with the Lord Friday, August 28, 2015, after a long battle with cancer.

Gerald was born December 13, 1935 to Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Kirk of Stigler where he attended twelve years of school. His undergraduate degree was from Northeastern State University, where he met and married Madanelle Garvin. Kirk attended Tulsa University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, and obtained a Ph.D. in neuroanatomy from the University of Missouri where he remained several years before coming to the newly opened College of Osteopathic Medicine of Tulsa in 1975.

Gerald retired from Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine after 25 years as a Professor of Anatomy. He was an active member of South Tulsa Baptist Church for several years, and served on the Board of Trustees for Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

Gerald is survived by his wife of 57 years, Madanelle; daughter, Lisa and husband, Kevin Putt, of Oklahoma City; daughter, Tammy and husband, Dr. Robert Spencer, of Denver, Colorado; two grandchildren, Matthew Kirk Spencer and Madeline Rose Spencer also of Denver, Colorado.

Visitation is from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, August 30, at Bixby Funeral Home, 13307 S. Memorial Dr., Bixby, OK 74008. Service is 10 a.m., Monday, August 31, at South Tulsa Baptist Church, graveside will follow at 3 p.m., Antioch Cemetery, Stigler. Bixby Funerals 918-369-1700.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions are made to the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, 12700 E 76th St N, Owasso, OK 74055.

Kirk Clock Tower with trees in fall

Dr. Kirk loved the children of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. He loved trees as well. Dr. Kirk set out to turn our mostly barren campus into a forest of red maple trees. Over the years, he purchased for the Owasso campus over 120 trees, some oak but mostly red maple. He told me that his vision for the campus was for children to walk on a carpet of red leaves in the fall of the year for generations to come.

Gerald Kirk, with some help from a few friends, designed and donated money for the Kirk Clock Tower that stands on 76th street. He insisted that the clocks not be digital but have roman numerals, which they do. The clock tower has quickly become a landmark for the campus. Dr. Kirk and Madanelle also made it possible for our children and staff to go to the Branson area and Silver Dollar City during the summer. Gerald wanted more than anything for children of OBHC to have some childhood memories of riding roller coasters, watching a show, and just having fun. Dr. Kirk was a great friend to all our children and staff. He will be greatly missed.

The Kirk Clock Tower and fond memories of Dr. Gerald Kirk

And Dr. Kirk, in the fall of all the years to come, when those red maple leaves turn red, we will remember how much you loved our children and how blessed we were by you. ~ Scott Pallett, Administrator, Owasso Baptist Children's Home


Dr. Kirk with grandson and campus residents
Dr. Kirk is pictured here with his grandson, Matthew, and some campus residents.
Dr. Kirk was a great encouragment to both our children and our staff. He had such a great enthusiasm for our ministry and shared that enthusiasm with everyone that would listen. Dr. Kirk was always "on board" for whatever project we were considering as long as it benefitted the children in our care. And, he always walked right along side us, offering his vast knowledge in so many areas. Dr. Kirk would give more than his blessing on a great idea for helping the children, he would join in to make it happen!

We have lost a dear and faithful friend. ~ Donna Brooks, Development Representative, Baptist Children's Home, Owasso

Today I attended the funeral of Dr. Gerald Ray Kirk. Dr. Kirk had a PhD. in neuroanatomy and was a Professor of Anatomy at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, teaching there for 25 years. I first met Dr. Kirk and his lovely wife, Madanelle, three years ago. A mutual friend, Donna Brooks, introduced us.

Three things we had in common: First, we both had a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. Secondly, we both loved children and believed in and supported the mission of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC), serving together as OBHC trustees. Thirdly, we were both cancer patients/survivors.

Dr. Kirk's daughters, Tammy and Lisa, along with Tony Kennedy, President, OBHC, gave the eulogies. Dr. Kirk's daughters spoke of their dad's passion for teaching--teaching anatomy and teaching God's word. Tony spoke of Dr. Kirk leaving a legacy of character and faith. The number of people--family, friends, colleagues and former students in attendance was evidence of Dr. Kirk and his passions in life!

Tammy mentioned in her eulogy that her dad always took a genuine interest in people, no matter their lot/position in life. I'm one of those people in whom Dr. Kirk took a genuine interest. When Dr. Kirk learned of my cancer diagnosis/journey, he wanted to know specifics about my cancer, cancer regimen, prognosis, etc., always wanting an update, always offering encouraging words and affirmation when he would see me, all the while suffering/managing his own health challenges of his particular cancer. The epitome of selflessness!

Thank the Lord for Dr. Kirk, a godly man who genuinely loved people and cared about them! I, along with his family and many others, will miss him! ~ Judy Miles, OBHC Trustee


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