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