Jerry Kirk
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Family-Placed Death Notice

KIRK, Jerry Jerry L. Kirk, 67, of Atlanta, passed away unexpectedly Dec. 19, 2011, at his home. Born in N.C., Jerry grew up in S. Fla. and graduated from N. Miami High School, where he excelled in mathematics and became a competitive, self-taught tennis player. Jerry graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1966 with a degree in electrical engineering and received his Master's degree in mathematics from Georgia State University. A walk-on tennis player at Georgia Tech, he was soon awarded a full athletic scholarship by then Athletic Director Bobby Dodd. Throughout his life, Jerry remained very close to his fellow team members of Georgia Tech's tennis team --- George Dickinson, Wally Johnson, Mike Lightborn and Bill Mallory. During the course of his career, Jerry worked at Lockheed and Georgia Power, taught mathematics and coached tennis at Gainesville Junior College, where he led the team to win the state junior college title. He was the summer tennis professional at Atlanta's Capital City Club and later became tennis director of the City of Atlanta, managing Bitsy Grant, Piedmont Park and Chastain tennis centers during the tennis boom of the 1970s. He later worked in residential real estate construction and then with Pittard Machine Company, where he became a pioneer in programming computer-controlled machines. Jerry then transitioned to real estate investing so he would have more time to pursue his true love of competing at the top level of senior tennis and spending more time with his friends. Jerry reached the highest levels in senior tennis, particularly as a doubles player. Among his many titles, Jerry won a world doubles championship and several national doubles titles. He and Hugh Thomson were the number one ranked doubles team in the nation on three occasions and the number one doubles team in the South at least six times. Jerry also played on numerous national championship USTA Intersectional Southern teams and Southern championship Georgia Senior Cup teams. He was preceded in death by his loving mother, Fran Kirk. He is survived by his adoring sister, Dara Vega, of Miami, Fla. Everyone who met Jerry just liked him. He will be sorely missed but not forgotten by all his friends on the senior circuit, particularly his long time doubles partner, Hugh Thomson; his good friend, Jim Purdy; the Tuesday night tennis gang, Bailey, Barry, Berke, Bill, Dick, Ed, Ernie, George, Goo, Skog, Wagener and Wally; all his buddies at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center; and many national and international tennis players and organizations. A memorial service will be held in Kellett Chapel at Peachtree Presbyterian Church on Jan. 12, 2012, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jerry Kirk Memorial Fund, at the Bank of North Georgia, P.O. Box 1407, Alpharetta, Georgia 30009. Jerry will also be remembered with a special memorial in early May during the Atlanta Senior Invitational tournament.

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Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 7, 2012.
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19 entries
July 21, 2013
My deepest sympathy to Jerry's family. I was Jerry's roommate the summer of 1964 and we were friends through my time at GaTech. We did not stay in touch but I will always remember fondly our time together.

Doug Denault
March 16, 2013
Jerry and I first met at Milander Park Tennis Center in Hialeah, Fl.about 1962. We became close friends and enjoyed running around in his Model A Ford. Tennis was very important to him during his high school years at MIAMI JACKSON SENIOR HIGH in Miami, Fl. He was excited about attending Ga. Tech and wanted to play on the tennis team. He was very driven in his academics and very passionate about his tennis. We kept in touch throughout the years because Jerry was close to my entire family. The last time we spoke, about 2 yrs. ago, he was once again planning to winning another big tournament.
I also knew he loved his mother Fran and sister Dara who I also had the pleasure of knowing. As a high school kid he loved to ride around in his Model A with his bassett hounds ears flapping in the breeze. He always had a smile on his face and was a very kind person.
Kathleen Geraghty
May 4, 2012
Jerry Kirk wrote the book on tennis sportsmanship.......He will be missed.
Dennis Edwards
January 27, 2012
South Beach 1995...
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Our last "date night"
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Jerry at the bar at Cumberland Hooters
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Jerry & Dork when Dork was a puppy
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Jerry & Dork when Dork was a puppy
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Jerry loving that his car was rolled at Hooters as a way of telling him he'd be missed while back in Atlanta
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Just Jerry
Suzanne Adams
January 27, 2012
Jerry & Dork (Dork was still a puppy.)
I first met Jerry Kirk in July of 1994. By the following January, I knew that Jerry had become a fixture in my life. From the moment we, he was always around, sometimes when least expected.

I might be on a date and look up to see Jerry peering at me from a table close by, from around the corner, or through the leaves of a plant, sometimes in a bizarre disguise. The reception desk in my office would call because there was an interesting character named Jerry looking or me; over time, everyone came to expect Jerry's visits and I wasn't the only one who enjoyed them. On numerous occasions, my parents would call, to say, “Your friend Jerry has stopped by to visit. Would you like to join us also?” So, you see – Jerry was always just there, until now.

When I learned of Jerry's passing, I asked myself, “What would you say to Jerry if you could speak with him one last time?” I didn't have to think very long on that.

I'd thank Jerry for being such a good friend to me for so many years and tell him that I wish I'd been a better friend in return.

I'd tell him that I loved him. In almost 18 years of friendship, I only recall telling him three (3) times.

What I would want Jerry most to know, is the positive impact he had on my life. Jerry believed in an impressionable 20-year old kid when not everyone did. It was his undaunting faith in me that played a very integral role in the strong, confident woman I became. Jerry possessed a self imposed paternal pride that I never understood, but always appreciated.

He made me smile and laugh, probably more than anyone else ever has; that was just his way.

I hope Jerry knew how grateful I am for the special gift of his unique friendship that will always live in my heart.

I have no doubt that Jerry was greeted by Dork at the Rainbow Bridge & that before they proceeded into Heaven, Dork gave our dear friend one last big mess to clean up.

Rest in peace, sweet friend; you are forever in my heart!
Suzanne Adams
January 13, 2012
I knew Jerry at Gainesville Junior College, because I was Registrar and Director of Admissions then. He was a bright young man whose intellectual outbursts were faster than he could deliver them. Heartfelt sympathy to his sister.
William B Edmonds
January 13, 2012
Jerry, you will be missed at Bitsy Grant. Rest in Peace
Kenny Beshers
January 12, 2012
Jerry was a great person as well as a competitor. He had fun when he played and in the end that is what tennis is all about. He will be missed
Pat Child
January 11, 2012
Jerry put integrity before winning. He seldom lost and looking at him play from the side of the court you could never tell if he was ahead or behind. He will be missed.

M Levy Columbus,Ga.
January 11, 2012
During this difficult time may God's active force equip your family with the "power beyond what is normal" to go from one day to the next. 2Corinthians 4:7
January 9, 2012
I am so sad to have lost a friend from several years ago. He brought a smile to so many faces.
P Crawford
January 7, 2012
To the Kirk Family:

In your time of sorrow, may you find comfort in God's word. James 4:8 encourages; "Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you."

My condolences.
January 7, 2012
I am so stunned and saddened by Jerry's death. What a lovely man he was. My deepest sympathy to his sister and to all of his friends. Rest in peace, Jerry.
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