U.S. Air Force retired Lt. Col. Harris Wendell (Wendy) Kirk, age 70, of Shalimar, Fla., passed away Oct. 6, 2006, in Atlanta following complications from lung surgery.
Lt. Col. Kirk enlisted in the Air Force as a private in 1954. He won his wings and commission through the Aviation Cadet Program, Class 57-J. In a career spanning 25 years, he flew 4,500 hours as a fighter pilot in eight types of tactical fighters. He retired from the Air Force in 1979, with his last duty assignment in the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base. He served tours of duty in France, Germany, North Africa, Korea, Southeast Asia and the United States, including two tours of combat duty in Vietnam.
He retired from work as a civilian with the Air Force at Eglin AFB in 1998, after serving 16 years as project manager, Executive to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Combat Support, Tactical Air Warfare Center, and Chief, Combat Support Flight, 28th Test Squadron.
Born in Gallatin, Tenn., he moved to Tallahassee, Fla., in 1945, where he subsequently graduated from Leon High School and attended Florida State University. He held a bachelor of science degree in management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, and a master of science degree in political science from Troy State University, Ala.
He was past president of the Niceville/Valparaiso Kiwanis Club, a member of Daedalians, the Retired Officers' Association, and Shalimar Pointe Country Club.
Wendell was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Jerrie, on Aug. 5, 2006.
Survivors include his daughters and spouses, Heather and David Turner, Tiffany Funchess, and Valerie and Keith Van Dyke; brother and sister and their spouses, Bob and Fran Kirk, and Donna and Russell Krapf; in-laws, Robert and Ruth Hope, and Joseph Neal; nieces and nephews, Kevin and Catherine Krapf, Tonya Hope and Rhonda Cheshire and families; his "honorary" son, Dean Holtzhouser and family; and many extended family members in Tennessee.
Also surviving are his beloved grandchildren, Jennifer Spradlin, Jessica Murphy and fiancé, Jimmy Ward, Hope Meadows, Jack Turner, Lea Funchess, Haleigh, Kinsey and Bodie Van Dyke; and one greatgrandchild, Kaitlyn Murphy.
The family will receive friends at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road N.E., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Friday, Oct. 13, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Graveside services, full military honors, immediately following at Heritage Gardens Cemetery.
Please view and sign the family guestbook at www .emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Robert Bransford Kirk
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