M.I. Kirsch

M.I. Kirsch, Jr. Resident of San Jose Known to his friends as "Bob," passed away at home on March 24, 2013. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1922. He served in WW II in the Army Air Corps in India, and graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.S. in geology. He moved with his former wife Shirley and their children to Saratoga in 1960 after working in several western states for the Continental Oil Company as a geologist. In California, he worked as an agent for the New York Life Insurance Company. He was an avid skier, backpacker, and outdoorsman, and was well-known for his work with the Boy Scouts, the Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Association, and the Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew. He organized the first "Trail Days," an event where volunteers roughed out over 25 miles of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail in a single weekend. He received the Dewitt Award in 2001 for over thirty years of volunteer work in the California State Parks. He loved good food and singing, and danced at many Greek festivals. He is survived by his dance partner and devoted wife, Marguerite Bellamy, his son Karl, his daughter Lisa and her husband Phil Moritz, his grandchildren Naomi and Ryan Kirsch Moritz, his sister and brother-in-law, Pauline and William Dumke, and many nieces and nephews. A memorial will be held at Sky Meadow in Big Basin State Park on Sunday, July 21, 2013. Donations in his memory may be made to the trail crew through the Mountain Parks Foundation (www.mountainparks.org).

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Apr. 12, 2013