Rev. Richard Joseph Kirk Sr. of Kennett Square

The Rev. Dr. Richard Joseph (“Dick”) Kirk Sr., 89, of Kennett Square, died Sunday, Feb. 21. He is reunited in spirit with the two great loves of his life; the late Joyce Kirk with whom he shared 33 years of marriage and the late Jan Kirk with whom he shared 26 years of marriage. He was born on Aug. 30, 1931, in Trenton, N.J. to the late Richard Alexander Kirk and Jane (Golden) Kirk.

Richard Joseph Kirk Sr.

Dick graduated from Princeton University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science & Engineering with honors. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity from General Theological Seminary, a Master of Sacred Theology from Temple University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Eden Theological Seminary.

He served as an Episcopal priest in parishes in New Jersey, New York, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. He was the Rector at The Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square for 17 years until his retirement in 1996. After retirement, he continued to work as a parish supply priest for Advent and other churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He also continued to be active in organizational development and parish consulting through The Alban Institute. Through the years he was involved in the United Way in Kennett Square, the Kendal Communities Board. He passionately continued teaching and taking classes at the Institute for Life-Long Learning at the University of Delaware.

Dick was an athlete and sports fan, rowed crew for Princeton, was an avid swimmer and lifeguard, and played tennis regularly to the age of 84. He had season tickets to watch Princeton Football every year bringing his children and grandchildren with him.

Dick leaves a legacy of a life well-lived. He raised his children to be independent, following their own paths. Through his ministry, he touched the lives of countless others as a teacher, counselor, and mentor. Richard was a man of a deep abiding faith in God yet also a man of science. For him, the two were never in conflict. He approached his own mortality with confidence in a better life to follow.  Well, that and playing tennis again.

Dick is survived by his two sons Richard Joseph Kirk, Jr. (Susanna) of Newark, and Michael David Kirk (Elaine) of Kennett Square; his two daughters, Mary Elizabeth Kirk and Anne Catherine Kirk both of Coatesville; two stepsons, Michael Mogavero (Val) of Thornton, and Dee Mogavero of Philadelphia; 10 grandchildren, Sherri (Bryan), Fred, Arion, Justin (Rachel), Briana (Chris), Matthew (Naty), Sarah, Lex, Lauren, and Brandon; four great-grandchildren Jake, Tori, Alex and Max; and his brother Karl Langlotz Kirk (Jeannine) of Elyria, Ohio.

The family asks that you hold them gently in your hearts for in the warm thoughts and prayers of friends and family they will find solace and peace. A memorial service celebrating Rev. Kirk’s life at the Episcopal Church of the Advent will be scheduled for late summer.

Due to COVID, Richard’s funeral service at the Episcopal Church of the Advent will be private. He will be laid to rest next to his wife Joyce at Union Hill Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to: The Episcopal Church of the Advent, (in memo list "Capital Fund") 401 N. Union St. Kennett Square, PA 19348.  Arrangements are by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (484-734-8100).  To view Richard’s online obituary, please visit www.griecofunerals.com

 

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