Thomas Eugene "Sonny Boy" Kirk
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Mr. Thomas Eugene "Sonny Boy" Kirk, 80, of Royston, GA passed away on Thursday, April 17, 2014, at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL.
Born in Madison County, GA on May 06, 1933, he was the son of the late Vivian Kirk Argo of Royston, GA. He graduated from Ila High School in Ila, GA and enlisted into the U.S. Navy at age 17.
During his naval career he attained a college equivalent degree in Mechanical Engineering and was promoted to Non-Destructive Test Supervisor in the maintenance and repair of nuclear ballistic missile submarines. He served during the Korean and Vietnam wars, the Cuban Crisis, and the Blockades of Libya, Guatemala, and Honduras. He retired from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Senior Chief Hull Maintenance Technician. Mr. Kirk went to Iran under the Shah Regime and taught Imperial Iranian Naval officers the technical use of radioactive isotopes and x-ray equipment. He then joined Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in Saudi Arabia as Senior Engineering Inspector and worked in the offshore oil fields of the Northern Persian Gulf for 11 years.
Upon returning to the U.S., he went to Kingsland, GA where he worked for the U.S. Navy as Warranty Engineer and Quality Assurance Analyst in the building of the Naval Submarine Base at Kings Bay. He performed major duties with the Census Bureau in conducting the 2000 U.S. Census.
Mr. Kirk worked as fabrication supervisor for Royston Manufacturing Company until he became disabled by the installation of a pace maker and mechanical heart valve in 2004.
He was a life member of the Fleet Reserve Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, GA Sheriffs Association, and the U.S.S Fessenden Association. Mr. Kirk was a member of The Society of Non-Destructive Testing Association and held a level III certification. He was a member of the American Welding Society and held welder certifications for 12 different welding techniques. Also, he was an official member of The North American Fishing and Hunting Club.
Mr. Kirk was an honest, generous, and God loving man of both Catholic and Baptist faith. He was the author of the book of short stories entitled "Speck of Dirt" and held the world record for having a child after remaining sterile for 25 years, 2 months and 2 days.
Survivors include his wife, Lhyn Tobias Kirk; son, Dale Kirk of Goose Creek, SC; daughters, Lisa Lynne Kirk Bennett of Royston, GA, Debbie Kirk Lawler of FL and Cindy Kirk of Goose Creek, SC; brother, Kenneth Leaird of Little Rock, ARK; and sister, Nora Jean Chitwood of Royston, GA.
In addition to his mother, Mr. Kirk was preceded in death by a son, Jeffery Neil Kirk.
Funeral services for Mr. Kirk will be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hartwell, GA with Father Rafael Castano officiating. Burial will follow in the Franklin Memorial Gardens-South in Royston. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening. The family is at the home.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.pruittfhroyston.com.
Pruitt Funeral Home in Royston, GA is in charge of arrangements.
Pruitt Funeral Home
47 Franklin Spring Street Royston, GA 30662
Published in Anderson Independent-Mail on Apr. 20, 2014