Photo courtesy of The Healy Chapel

Earl D. Kirk

Aurora, Illinois

Feb 8, 1949 – Nov 27, 2019 (Age 70)


February 8, 1949
November 27, 2019
Aurora, Illinois


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The Healy Chapel Obituary

Earl D. Kirk Jr, 70, of Aurora, Illinois and Evansville, Indiana, passed away on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Seasons Hospice in Naperville, Illinois after a lengthy illness. He was born February 8, 1949 in Aurora, the son of the late Earl and Delores Kirk of Sugar Grove, Il. Earl graduated from Kaneland High School, class of 1967. He earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Illinois Wesleyan University (French), his M.A,. Indiana University (French), and ABD, Indiana University (French & Literature). He was employed as an instructor at Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas (1978-1979), an instructor and administrator Baker University, Baldwin, Kansas (1978-2003), and was Director of Study Abroad and Harlaxton College Coordinator, University of Evansville (2003-2015) and retired in 2015. Earl traveled to many countries supporting and facilitating the Study Abroad Program. For leisure he enjoyed Europe, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, the U.S., and others. He was a world traveler, fluent in several languages and had a love of people, history and cultures. His greatest adventure was in 2017, when he took the challenge of the Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James) and walked 500 miles in 35 days, to the shrine of St. James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain. Earl was an inspirational and passionate educator, administrator, and mentor dedicating his life and career encouraging and inspiring thousands of students to achieve their goals in education, studying and traveling abroad. He had a great love for his Dalmatian dogs, Betty, Annie and Natasha, and also Loke. Earl is survived by his sister, Dale (Robert) Seidelman, of Big Rock, Il., sister Doris (Robert) Field of Idaho, and a brother, Edward Kirk of Aurora, Il; a special aunt and uncle, Barbara and Thomas Greyer of Sugar Grove. He is also survived by his nephews, Eric Seidelman, Benjamin Seidelman and Christian Seidelman, and nieces, Kathryn Seidelman and Jessica Krull, a special great nephew, Curtis Thompson, numerous cousins, great nieces and nephews, and many other family members, friends and former colleagues. He is preceded in death by: his parents, Delores (Burridge) and Earl D. Kirk Sr; his grandparents, James and Arvel Burridge, and Marshall Kirk and Nellie Spaits; as well as several aunts and uncles. Special thanks to the loving nursing and support staff and caring residents at Bickford of Aurora, and to the special angel caregivers from Angels Grace Hospice for their amazing care for Earl during this difficult time. You truly are angels. We also want to thank Seasons Hospice for their compassionate care. A visitation will be held for Earl on Saturday December 7, 2019, from 9:30 to 11:00 AM at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Dr., Sugar Grove, IL 60554. The funeral service will immediately follow the visitation, at 11:00 AM. Interment will take place at Sugar Grove Cemetery. Memorial gifts can be made to Baker University at www.bakeru.edu to the Robert Dunham Scholarship Fund in memory of Earl, or to help find a cure for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis at www.IPFfoundation.org.

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Guest Book

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I was privileged to have been Earl's neighbor in Evansville. He was a kind, caring, pleasant person always willing to help or lend a hand. He has already been missed. I like to think of him as away traveling still.

Our condolences
for the loss of your loved one
I wish God would relieve them of the emptiness I leave them
to be honest
Jose Espinoza and Family

Earl's selfie at Santiago Cathedral

Earl sent me this selfie after his 37 day 500 mile, Camino trek on October 19,2017. Submitted on previous entry, my wife Pauline and myself (John Goulet) were Earl's neighbors in Evansville.
You could not ask for a better neighbor and eventual friend.
Rest In Peace, Earl. You will be missed!
My condolences to Dale and Bob and Earl's family and friends!

Earl's selfie at his finish of the Camino in Santiago

I met Earl in the summer of 1987 when I enrolled at Baker University. He was my academic advisor and guided me during my four years as an undergraduate. He was kind, demanding, funny, and smart. He pushed me to always go farther. After college we became good friends and he came to visit me several times when I was in graduate school and then later when I moved to France. He came to my wedding and we were blessed to host him and that special group of friends from Baker on a memorable...

Earl was both colleague and friend, and I miss him greatly. He prepared students to come for studies at Harlaxton College, England; I met them there and with other good colleagues oversaw their education. He bears much responsibility for Harlaxton's being ranked the "#1 Study Abroad Program" from America. A memorial bench, will be placed in his honor on the beautiful Harlaxton Manor grounds with the inscription "In Warm Memory of EARL D. KIRK, 1949 - 2019, 'Still...

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Earl I will greatly miss you.You were such a humble man.I will never forget you .Mel @ Bickford

Earl was an important mentor during my time at Baker University. I'm sorry for his loss and long term illness. I'll always remember his designation of tests and exams as "Evaluation Opportunities". I felt held to a high standard and try to create a similar relationship with my students now.