Kirk, Thomas

KIRK, Thomas F.

In loving memory of Thomas F. Kirk of Roswell, GA, who died February 29, 2020 at the age of 80 after battling cancer with his characteristic courage and positive attitude.

Tom was born in Brooklyn, NY, where he attended Manual Training HS and met his wife-to-be, Laura Vainstein. He left high school to join the Coast Guard, proudly serving for four years while continuing his technical education. He then returned to NY where he and Laura were married in1961.

He began his long and varied career with IBM in 1961, rising there until his retirement in 1992. Always seeking out new challenges, Tom began by repairing electric typewriters, went on to sell computer systems, and finished his career as Academic Consultant to Collegiate Schools of Business. All of Tom's advanced education was accomplished on evenings and weekends even as he was being promoted through increasingly more responsible positions.

After earning a business degree from Long Island University Tom was accepted into the new Executive MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His natural teaching talent, practical and theoretical knowledge were recognized, and when he graduated he was invited to teach in the MBA program he had just completed. When IBM transferred Tom and his family to Atlanta in 1979 he began teaching evening classes in the Business School at Georgia State University and Reinhardt College. Students sought his advice and friendship long after they completed his courses.

A lifelong learner with in-depth understanding of technical subjects, history, and family genealogy, Tom always sought to increase his wealth of knowledge. He found and connected with family members around the world, took joy in repairing anything that wasn't working, and in travel that extended to more than 40 countries. He relaxed by exploring the Georgia mountains on his motorcycle and riding his bicycle on local trails. After retiring several times, Tom volunteered to teach a variety of courses at Roswell Seniors Enriched Living, where he combined and shared his knowledge and teaching skills. He loved a good discussion or debate and treated everyone with dignity and respect. Tom made and kept friends wherever he went. Everyone recognized his intelligence and kindness.

Together Tom and Laura created and nurtured the caring family he had not experienced as a child, proudly considering this his greatest accomplishment. A loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather, he exemplified what it means to be a good man. He was always available to help and encourage others and to share his many talents and insights. As Dad and Grandpa he demonstrated his values by example, living a caring and connected life. He looked forward to family trips, cruises, and adventures together, reminding his children and later his grandchildren of the importance of accumulating memories rather than things.

Tom and Laura grew as they experienced life together. They loved, took pride in and appreciated each other for over 58 years. He is survived and missed by his wife Laura, son Robert, daughter Lisa, and grandchildren Alexander, Christopher, Nicole, and Ryan.

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