The Rev. Terrell Thomas Kirk, 72
By CHRISTINA K. COSDON
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 16, 2000
The Rev. Terrell Thomas Kirk, who for 23 years was rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Dunedin, died Friday (Oct. 13, 2000) in Atlanta of a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.
Kirk and his wife, Margaret, continued to live in Dunedin after his retirement in 1991, and he remained active in the ministry, serving as interim rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs and assisting other parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.
In 1996, he suffered a stroke and was treated at Duke Medical Center at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Although he had recovered physically, his speech was affected, his wife said Sunday. And because his condition was complicated, she said, the couple moved last summer to an apartment in a new retirement community in Durham to be close to his neurosurgeon.
"But he was patched up so well, I thought he had at least another 10 years, and we were hoping for more," Mrs. Kirk said. He suffered the hemorrhage Thursday morning at a hotel in Atlanta, where the couple had been staying while visiting his mother, who was dying at Hospice Atlanta. She died Saturday.
While at Good Shepherd, the Rev. Kirk encouraged his congregation to be active in community issues and to open church buildings for community use. He was in the forefront of the denomination's movement for the ordination of women. "I believe it illustrates the fullness of the gospel for all people," he said in a Times story. He said he "paid a bit of a price over the years" for his stand on the issue. "I have been known to go against the grain, when I felt it was the thing to do," he said.
Mrs. Kirk described her husband as a man of faith and integrity. He loved camping and fishing, she said, and was looking forward to an upcoming surf fishing trip with some new friends in their retirement community.
The Rev. Kirk was born in Jacksonville and graduated in 1949 from Davidson College in North Carolina. He received a divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and a master's in sacred theology from the School of Theology at the University of the South in Suwanee, Tenn. He served more than 49 years in the ministry.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three sons, Terrell T. Kirk Jr. and Frank W. Kirk, both of Dunedin, and David C. Kirk of Decatur, Ga.; a brother, Dr. Paul W. Kirk Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.; several nieces and nephews; and five grandchildren.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Church of the Good Shepherd, 639 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin, and his ashes are to be interred there. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the church in the Rev. Kirk's memory. Arrangements are being handled by H.M. Patterson and Son, Atlanta.
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