It was in Lake Placid that Fred met the love of his life, Ann Nolan. They married on August 30, 1947 and last summer celebrated 64 years of marriage.
Like many of his contemporaries in Lake Placid, after earning an accelerated wartime high school diploma Fred heeded the call to serve the United States in its time of need and volunteered for the US Army Air Forces as a radio operator.
At war’s end, Fred took advantage of the GI Bill and earned his teaching degree at Plattsburgh Teachers College. After beginning his teaching career in Schenectady, Fred and his bride moved to the North Country where he would become an education fixture and true innovator as a teacher and then principal at Monty Street Elementary School and then the Plattsburgh Middle School.
He was a hands-on administrator and insisted on working closely with staff and students during his tenure. Many of his co-workers became fast friends and the positive impact he had on thousands of students that passed through the halls of the Plattsburgh Middle School will be felt for generations. After his retirement in 1985, Fred accepted an invitation to serve as the Principal of St. Johns High School, the first lay person to hold that position.
His approach to education was simple and mirrored his approach in life, find the good that is in everyone and work hard to bring that good to the forefront. It is that philosophy that will be his lasting legacy in the Plattsburgh School District.
Fred achieved many accomplishments during his long journey in this world, but none so important to him as his family. Fred, a loving and devoted husband and father, is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ann, his daughter, Lynn Cole and her husband John of Charlotte, N.C., and sons, Michael and his wife Tiffany of Plattsburgh and Steven and his wife Mavis of North Greenbush.
He was also a wonderful grandfather to eight grandchildren, Erin, Megan, Shana, Kasey, Kyle, Kaitlyn, Mackenzie and Bryce. Fred was also close to Richard and Geraldine Wright, sister and brother in law to Ann Kirk.
Of all the places he lived and spent time, there is no more special place than camp on the Upper Saranac. He loved to recount stories of family time in camp, whether preparing a good meal or adding an addition to the building. Camp was truly his haven. His presence there will always be felt.
Fred reveled in the adventures life had to offer, whether flying over Europe in World War II or driving across the US in an RV with Ann after retirement, he loved it all. He never stopped learning. Local libraries knew him well as a frequent borrower of books on tape. He encouraged everyone around him to seek out what they loved and to strive to be the best they could through hard work and perseverance. It was a philosophy he embraced and lived every day. He will be remembered most for his deep regard for others, his class, and the dignity, pride and respect he carried with him every day. He will be missed greatly by those who knew and loved him.
Services will be held at Brown Funeral Home located at 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh NY 12901. Calling hours will be 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday November 13, 2011 with a funeral service immediately following at 4:00 pm. A private graveside service will be held on Monday.
If you desire to make a donation please support the establishment of a Scholarship in the name of Fred and Ann Kirk distributed through the Plattsburgh City School System.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh. Online condolences and memorial candles may be offered at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com.