Norbert “Kirk” Kirkwood, 74

Published 10:25 am Friday, November 9, 2012

Norbert “Kirk” Kirkwood, 74, passed away Oct. 15, 2012, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Norbert Kirkwood

Kirk was born on May 25, 1938, in Austin, Minn., the son of Clyde and Gladys (Hanson) Kirkwood. He graduated from Austin High School in 1956 and he served in the Army from 1957 to 1959. Upon discharge, Kirk utilized the G.I. Bill to pursue a degree in English and Spanish at Mankato State College. Kirk taught school for a number of years before discovering his true vocation as a firefighter. He served at the Poudre Valley Fire District and The Poudre Fire Authority in Fort Collins, Colo. for more than 22 years, achieving the ranks of captain and company officer before retiring in 1994.

Kirk traveled extensively through most of his life, visiting more than two dozen countries, including: China, Vietnam, Greece, Hungary, Egypt, Thailand, much of Europe and most of Central and South America. Kirk was fluent in Spanish and learned sufficient portions of many other languages to enhance his travel experience. At the time of his death he was learning Korean in preparation for a trip to Korea. Kirk was also an avid runner and bicyclist who competed in numerous road races and events over the years, including the Boston Marathon. Kirk also rode a bike 850 miles from Ft. Collins, Colo., to Austin to attend a high school reunion, but as he was quick to admit, one way was enough and he flew home. Right up to the months preceding his death, Kirk was a familiar fixture walking and running the streets and trails of northeast Albuquerque. He spent hours putting in his miles.

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Kirk is survived by his son Randy Kirkwood of Orlando, Fla.; daughter Vivian “Liz” Perez of Ft. Collins; granddaughters Amanda Johnson and Misty Van Winkle; great-grandchildren Ryder, Leo and Mae; and his sister Aggie Hendrikson of Austin. Kirk also leaves and extended family of good friends in Albuquerque.