Howard Duane Kirk of Cortez died at the age of 78 on September 29, 2019 at Southwest Memorial Hospital, with his wife, Maxine and his daughters, Kim and Cynthia by his side. His sister Shirley was there, as she had been daily to accompany him through his final journey.
Howard was born on October 23, 1940 at the family home in Cortez, CO to Pearl Agusta (Gussie) and Spence Kirk. He was the youngest child with 3 older sisters who helped him to be spoiled and watched over. He attended school in Cortez until he graduated in 1958. Soon afterward he joined the U. S. Air Force and trained as reciprocal engine mechanic. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity during his time serving his country from 7/22/1958 to 7/21/1961.
Howard met his future wife in the summer of 1963. He moved to Hayward, CA and continued his work in aircraft maintenance until going to work for General Motors in Fremont, CA. Howard and Maxine were married in December, 1963. They moved to Fremont and bought their first home there. Their youngest daughter, Cynthia was born in Oakland, CA. She was welcomed home by her sisters, Kim and Lisa.
In 1974 the family moved back to Cortez where Howard worked for Bridgewater Trucking in Cortez as a diesel mechanic, and obtained a certification from Cummins Refrigeration to make sure the trucks hauling produce were perfectly maintained. Howard's mechanical expertise was to be envied. He could fix almost anything mechanical. His collection of tools was amazing.
Howard loved fishing, hunting, playing golf and playing poker. His love of fishing kept the family and later the grandchildren busy every weekend on McPhee Lake. They had a pontoon boat that kept everyone safely on the water and catching many fish to take home to prepare and enjoy.
Howard stayed home after he retired. He puttered around the house and kept the yard at the family home immaculately manicured. He enjoyed planting a small garden and keeping his flowering plants in great condition.
Howard is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Maxine; his daughters, Kim (Kenneth) Hinton of Cortez, Lisa (Richard) Peterson of West Valley City, UT, and Cynthia Adams of Cabazon, CA; four grandchildren, Gabriel Gallegos, Briea Adams, Tanis Adams and Cohl Adams; 11 surviving great grandchildren; his sisters, Shirley Hanson of Cortez, CO, and Virginia (Kenneth) White of Klamath Falls, OR. Howard was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister Leona Bridgewater.