Richard Odett Kirk
August 23, 1942 – July 22, 2020
Richard Odett Kirk, 77, of Montross, VA, fell asleep in death on July 22, 2020. Richard was born the only child to Hiram and Ada Kirk on August 23, 1942 in Nashville, TN.
Richard married Joyce Turner in Knoxville, TN, in 1964. (After the children left home, He and Joyce divorced but remained friends.) He moved to Texas to begin a new life and job at Dow Chemical. They raised Roy and Kimberly; he was a good provider and wanted the best for them; the children had fond memories of time spent with Richard. He taught his children to love reading and education. The house was filled with books and Saturday afternoons were spent at the used bookstore. Even in recent years, he would simultaneously read and listen to two different books! He often took them swimming and rented motor homes to explore KOA campgrounds in many parts of Texas. He loved to travel; these trips included the beautiful hill country. He was better than a travel guide, and could remember details of places he went. He even remembered the exact routes in Europe he traveled in previous years without the aid of GPS.
Richard worked for 30 years as a Chemical Engineer in the Polycarbonate Research at Dow Chemical. His work took him to Europe and Asia. Through these trips, he was able to travel and investigate more of the world. He worked until recently in training a new group in his expertise as a consultant.
He is truly loved and missed by his love and partner Linda Solecki and her children Paul and Paula, his daughter and her family, a cousin Kinez Yanone who was as close as a sister, and Joe Moss, a best friend that truly was a brother. Richard was special to many relatives and friends. He loved photography and had a story for each slide. He often entertained with stories from his world travels. He was an educated man, a scientist, who loved to read, learn, and investigate. He was educated but often worked with his hands; rebuilding autos and various home construction projects. He graduated with a BS from the University of Tennessee. He became a chemical engineer at age 26. He made many accomplishments at work through promotions and patents. He worked on refining chemical processes through polycarbonate research. He became Senior Associate Scientist before retiring after 30 years with Dow. He and Linda moved to a home by the lake in Virginia. He so much enjoyed the outdoors. He would observe all sorts of animals, including deer, turkey, osprey, and eagles. In fact, one hobby he had was bird watching. In addition to these animals, he and Linda enjoyed the antics of their dog Annie and cat Sammy. In this small Virginia community of Montross he loved going to the library and playing cards with friends. A few years ago, he suffered a life-changing accident. He had to relearn basic skills. He was very dedicated to his rehabilitation. He often lamented not having enough therapy. He received a power chair from Joe. He was able to move around and spend time outside. You only had to look at his legs to see how he loved time in the sun! In addition to his accomplishments, he spent time with friends and family. He often enjoyed discussing Paul’s job as an engineer in the aerospace, going to Cheesecake factory with Joe and new friends at Brookdale, and looking at his grandson’s latest art projects.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents and his beloved son Roy.
Honorary pallbearers are Paul Solecki , Patrick and Gehrig Solecki, Chad Bittick , Joshua Bittick , and Joe Moss. We want to thank all the loving support from family, friends, caregivers, therapists, and medical professionals.
This a difficult time compounded by COVID 19. Richard cared about people and was very safety conscious. He was taking precautions until his death and would not want any of us to now take chances. In lieu of hugs and handshakes, we will be practicing physical distancing and wearing masks. Please know we thank you and appreciate all your support.
A Graveside Service to Celebrate the Life of Richard Kirk
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Richard Odett Kirk
July 31, 2020
I worked for Richard while I was in research. He had a sharp mind and always had plans for the next step forward. He loved his job and spent weekends checking on projects in the plant.
July 30, 2020
When I was 10 years old, and found out that my Aunt Ada and Uncle Hiram were to become my legal guardians, I needed help and needed a home. They were afraid that Richard's feelings might be hurt, that he might feel as though they were trying to replace him with me, instead Richard replied, "Go and get her now, do all you can!". I remember him saying, "Now I have a little sister"; it meant so much to me and always will. Later, Richard introduced me to his lovely wife, Joyce, as his "Little Sister" and from age 10 to age 69 he always treated me as such! We enjoyed our family gatherings, and long talks, I will miss our phone calls. He was a wise man, a great educator and the greatest "Big Brother" a person could ever hope for. Richard will always be my Brother, I love him and will miss him greatly, he has always wanted the best for me and my family, and I am grateful for that. Always in my heart, until we meet again! Rest in Peace.
July 30, 2020
I would like to extend my sympathy to the family. I worked for Richard for a short time in research and he was a great teacher. I appreciate the guidance he provided to me.
Michelle Moss Winkler
July 30, 2020
Praying for comfort and peace for all who loved Richard. He was such a kind man and I’m so thankful for the friendship my dad shared with Richard all these years - they were the best of friends. My deepest condolences to the family as he is laid to rest.
Karen Acre Kenny
July 29, 2020
When I started my career at Dow, Richard was the RD leader for the group. A wise man with a good sense of humor. My condolences to his family and his dear friends. Wishing peace and comfort,
July 28, 2020
I got to know a bit about Mr. Kirk working as concierge at Reunion Court in the Woodlands where he resided for a time. I admired his humor no matter the circumstance and his ability to operate his chair in the finest of detail. Driving the chair in tight areas and maneuvering sharp turns like a precision race car driver. He would go outside almost daily and sit in the sun among the trees and flowers of the court yard and entrance area that is surrounded by crepe myrtle and blooming plants along with the prowling squirrels, array of lizards and birds. I will remember him fondly. My condolences and I lift you up in prayer.