WELLSVILLE – Gerald E. Kirk, 75, passed away on Friday (December 16, 2022) at Jones Memorial Hospital following a lengthy illness.
Mr. Kirk was born on April 8, 1947 in Ithaca to Stanley P. and Elizabeth A. Kirk. He was a graduate from Ithaca Senior High School in 1965. Soon after he served in the United States Navy on the USS Boston and the USS Northampton during the Vietnam War. Following his service, Gerald attended Alfred State College and earned his drafting certification in 1973. On July 6, 1974 he married Esther G. Taylor, who survives.
Jerry worked as a draftsman for Dresser-Rand in Wellsville for 37 years before retiring in 2010.
In addition to his wife of 48 years, Jerry is survived by a daughter Christine Rasmussen (Grant) of St. Augustine, Fla.; a son Ben Kirk of Wellsville; three sisters Diana Kirk of East Palestine, Ohio, Karen Gallott (James) of New Haven, Vt. and Tricia Kirk of Colorado Springs, Colo.; three grandchildren, Nathan Rasmussen, Joshua Rasmussen, and Matthew Rasmussen; and several nieces and nephews.
Jerry had a fascination for boats since he was a child and his ship model hobby started shortly after. It would later give way for his impressive and historically accurate model ship creations that many knew him for. His most prized ship was the USS Boston, the ship he served on in the Navy. An avid photographer, Jerry used the many pictures he took in Vietnam to scale his own mini Boston back home. His finished replica weighed 180 pounds and is 10 ½ feet long. He crafted everything meticulously by hand; from rails, to turrets, even the figurines. Gerald took great pride in that it was a fully functioning ship, floating yearly on the Andover pond.
Gerald continued to model ships and would go on to make the USS Antigone, which his great grandfather served on in WW1, a WW2 Australian Destroyer and the SS Ohio, a civilian oil tanker.
Jerry was a member of Brookside Wesleyan Church, Wellsville American Legion, the Wellsville Area Small Plane Society (WASPS) and a life member of U.S.S Boston Shipmates.
A favorite pastime for Jerry were the morning and evening walks with his wife. Camping was a big event for the Kirk family each year with trips to the national parks that included 45 of the 50 states.
There will be no prior visitation. Full military honors will be rendered on Monday (January 2, 2023) at 12:00 p.m. at the Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Wellsville/Scio by the combined Andover and Wellsville American Legion and the United States Army. The graveside service will also be held on Monday (January 2, 2023) at 1:00 p.m. at Maple Grove Cemetery in Friendship with Rev. Robin George, retired pastor of the Brookside Wesleyan Church in Wellsville, officiating. © 2022 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.