Bruce Leon Kirk, Jr.

February 26, 1952 - December 31, 2023
Bruce Leon Kirk, Jr.

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Bruce Leon Kirk, Jr. passed away peacefully December 31, 2023 after a very brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born on February 26, 1952 in Lexington, NC, Bruce was the eldest of four boys to Betty Jo and Bruce Kirk Sr. After graduating high school, Bruce attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he earned a degree in sociology with a minor in psychology. During his sophmore year, he met his wife Jan Kirk. Bruce and Jan married on December 23, 1972.

Upon graduating from UNCW, Bruce began a career with the Boys Home of North Carolina in Lake Waccamaw as the Campus Coordinator, then later promoted to Director at the Huntersville campus. There, he helped countless troubled youth that were headed for hard times, and turned them around with love, compassion, and life lessons that they were not getting elsewhere.

After the birth of their son, Jan and Bruce moved to Wilmington, NC where he worked for seven years as the Manager of the Islander on Wrightsville Beach. In 1988, Bruce took the job of Terminal Manager at Chemserve Terminal. Bruce excelled in this position and continued to work for Chemserve for over 30 years. Bruce gained the respect of many during his time at Chemserve and had the unique pleasure of working alongside his son and daughter for many of those years. Bruce always loved catching up with the truck drivers and ensuring the candy and pastries were plentiful for them when they visited.

Bruce devoted his life to ensuring happiness and comfort to his family and bringing smiles and laughter to any and all around him. A natural entertainer, Bruce and Jan held amazing parties at their home for the fourth of July that most looked forward to yearly. He had the personality and natural charisma to make friends no matter the situation, and his laugh was infectious to everyone around him. A southern gentleman of many stories, Bruce never missed an opportunity to tell a joke or reminisce on his adventures in life. Even with the constant demands of work, Bruce always found time to slip away to the beach and fish along the shore, often times with his grandchildren by his side. He spent the majority of his retirement enjoying his home in the Bahamas, and building his grandchildren a one of a kind tree house in his back yard at Carolina Beach.

He is predeceased by his parents, and his brother Sidney of Lexington, NC

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jan Bowen Kirk; his son Stacey Kirk and wife Emily of Wilmington, NC, daughter Lindsey Mason and husband Latane of Wilmington, NC; his brothers Kim Kirk of Lexington, NC, and Sam Kirk and wife Erin of Pensacola, FL; his Sisters in Law, Kay Bowen LaSure, and Michelle Kirk; and his four beloved grandchildren, Skyler (15), Sunny (12), Evelyn (7) , and Cameron (5); as well as many nieces and nephews who were very special to him.

One of Bruce’s favorite things to say, even on his worst days, was “Life is good.”

The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Center and The Boys and Girls Homes of Lake Waccamaw.

A celebration of life will be held in April 2024. Once dates are finalized, we will reach out with the details.

To offer condolences and share memories, please visit wilmingtoncares.com.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation Service 1535 South 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099

 

 


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  • January 08, 2024
    Kim Havens says:
    To Jan, Stacey, Lindsey, Sam and the entire Kirk family.....our hearts are broken for you all!! Bruce was like a brother to me! We all had so many fun times together over the last 37 years. Pool parties, the infamous 4th of July parties, Key West, Jai alai with Kim, and oh so many, many more! Bruce lite up a room so naturally....although he would say he was an introvert....NOT! Bruce's laugh was infectious, his generosity unsurpassed, his love of family....immense!! I loved it when Bruce would get "tickled" from a joke or a comment, often saying that word that was uniquely his..."Quiiiiiiit"!! Our lives are better because of Bruce, being the truly wonderful individual he was. It's hard to type these words, as I don't believe he's really gone! I can only hope we live each day, influenced by one of thee most special individuals I have ever known.....that is to be humble, to care about others, to love your family, to work hard, to play hard, to be generous to those in need and to face life's challenges head on with strength and dignity! We love Bruce Kirk.....Rest in Peace my friend!! Kim and Jeri Havens

  • January 08, 2024
    Cathy Leonard says:
    Jan, Stacey and Lindsey I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband and father. He was a wonderful man and I am sure will be missed beyond measure. I will be thinking of y'all during this difficult time in your lives. I know he will always watch over you.

  • January 08, 2024
    MICHAEL APPLETON says:
    So Sorry For Your Loss. Wishing Fair Skyes and Following Seas Bruce.

  • January 05, 2024
    Dan Smith says:
    Jan, I just learned of the news about Bruce and am without words and devastated. Bruce and I grew up as cousins ( which neither of us at an early age realized ) but from the 1st grade through High School were Best Friends! We spent the night together, played sports together, rode horses on Sunday's together and created many wonderful memories together. He was as close as a brother , which I never had. College years separated us, like it does to many but it Never extinguished the memories and the Bond I always felt I had with " Brucey "! My heartfelt prayers are with you and your family. I will never forget Bruce! Dan Smith

  • January 05, 2024
    Lindsey Kirk Mason posted an image: