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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Remembrances from the guestbook in the online obituary:

September 21, 2013
Rest in Peace, Mike
Our family knew Mike in Berkeley, California. He babysat for myself and my sister around 1948-1950+. He 
and my father, also a student at Cal Berkeley, had many long conversations about mathematics, physics, 
building electronic and mechanical gadgets, pacificism, civil rights,and Quakerism. He attended Berkeley's 
Quaker meeting occasionally. My 95 year old mother, Jennivieve Westwick, who lives with us now in hospice 
care, remembers Mike fondly.  Mike's brother was in Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp with my mother's 
brother, Jack Tootell.  We have kept up with Mike through the years sporadically through the mail and 
telephone, and always enjoyed his connection to our family's California past. My parents also left California 
for Alaska, settling in Fairbanks from 1968-1992, when they came to live here on our New Hampshire farm. 
We always enjoyed thinking of Mike there in Juneau,where we lived from 1969-1970, and will continue to 
remember him fondly there in his Juneau community.
September 11, 2013
When I had mr. Kirk in class we had to listen to radio KIRK and nothing else.
September 08, 2013
Rest in Peace Mr. Kirk and I always left a School Board Agenda on the counter with your name on it and
enjoyed your most valued opinions you will be missed.
September 08, 2013
I remember Mr Kirk very fondly. When I was first in 7th grade he...
...had saved me from the doldrums of a remedial
math class that I had wrongly been placed in and did not belong in, as I would do all the days in class work
and the home work during class, after 2 weeks I was pulled and given a math placement test and given over
to Mr. Kirk. He said "You have some choices to decide upon Mr Johnson, you can go directly into Algebra I,
and be with the older high school students, who will probably give you a hard time about being a brainiac
because I would be the only one of my age in that class, or I can place you with students more your own age
in Pre-Algebra, I will leave the choice up to you Mr. Johnson". I was afraid at the time of being with older high
school students, so I made the choice of taking pre-algebra, and he thought no less of my for my choice, just
said "Very good Mr. Johnson" I later had Algebra I, Geometry I, Algebra II & Geometry II, and enjoyed each
class because of him. I'll always remember him saying "The mind is like a parachute, if it is closed then it will
not work." and "Mind like a steel trap" usually to students we had to stop a process for and get them to
understand it. He was truly a great teacher! I'm thankful to have had him as my teacher.
September 06, 2013
Mike, you will be missed ...Misha & David Plotnick
September 06, 2013
God bless you, Mr. Kirk. And, thank you.
September 05, 2013

I miss seeing Mr. Kirk walking downtown almost everyday, saying hi and waving at me. You were a great
math teacher of mine and I am confident lots of people would agree!
September 05, 2013
'Twas Mike wrote his own hobbituary?
A great vacuum, Hooverless, now inhabits every pantheon of gentlesharp, living punsters. Shall miss the
man who left us, laughing, young at heart. Auf Wiedersehen, Mike! Viele Pause, ohne Arbeit, alter! Bis dann!
September 04, 2013
I knew Michael Kirk as one of my most interesting cutomers. He came in regularly to AEL&P to pay his bill in
advance and to check on how well he was doing on conserving energy. He had something to share no matter
the direction of the conversation. His wit and knowledge were a delight.I did not know of his charitable
endeavors or contributions to the community but am not surprised. I experienced his gracious and
gentlemanly behavior, and looked forward to his visits. The conversations were rich in discussions of history,
the value of math,and the delights of the arts in Juneau. What a very special person he was. I will miss him.
September 03, 2013
Thanks for always sharing in the celebrations of the class of '66. You will always be remembered with a smile
and respect. I am grateful to have spent time with you in Seattle...and for finally having you sign my '66
yearbook!! Rest in Peace, Barb Guertin Nielsen
September 03, 2013
I had known Mike for just over 50 years. Even though I would be sitting in the back of the class, he could still
hit me with a piece of chalk, ( in his effort to wake me up.) the vision of him in the winter, peering over the
steering wheel of his enormous Army surplus all terrain vehicle .... I think he was the first adult I remember
who would wear headphones in public... He would pour his coffee in the morning.... pause.....look up at the
class and say: "it's not what you think it is".....every day. It was funny every day. I always respected him most
for having the nerve to take out a full page "ad" in the yearbook for his self portrait....looking a little like Einstein,
with the quote " Men of Extinction smoke Lord Atom"....thanks Mike.
I could go on....and I think I will.
September 02, 2013
Yes, we will remember you fondly "Mr. Kirk." Class of '61 adviser and a truly nice guy.
September 02, 2013
He was my first Algebra teacher. Memorable class and a delightful person. His background is fascinating
(and was totally unknown to me--what do kids know?). Glad to have known him, however little I did.
(LLL, class of 1960)
September 02, 2013
A DD- just to get me through Mr. Kirk's algebra class, a dubious distinction. Mike, you were correct; upper math
was the nagging ache throughout my educational "career."
September 01, 2013
I had him for math, I enjoyed his personality immensely. Great Man....
September 01, 2013
AS a colleague of Mike's he taught what to do if you wanted to drive an administrator nuts. I was one of his
troops during the 1967 uprising at J-D HS. I fled the scene he stayed on and on. When I needed help he was
on the spot. Stay naughty! Richard L. Pastega
September 01, 2013
Mike was always a pleasure to dance with at the Folk dance events. Such a gentleman!
September 01, 2013
Great description, Bob, one does "experience" Mr. Kirk. Often, his eccentricities empowered those he rubbed
shoulders with unawares. I loved going to his classes--a testament to his skills and motives. To this day, I
find myself often repeating many of his quotes: "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead", "when I was a child,
I spake as a child..." Thank you for sharing, enjoy your rest.
September 01, 2013
He was a great teacher who was always ready to help you.
September 01, 2013
I had Mr. Kirk for freshman Algebra in '69 -'70...he was unorthodox to say the least but I learned a lot from him.
Our classroom looked across at Aurora Harbor. I will never forget his 3 ways of 'discipline' if ever you
'strayed'....he would throw a piece of chalk in your direction or he would say "straighten up or I will have you
either counting seagulls or doing push-ups from the ceiling"... I would run into Mr. Kirk many times over the
years and I don't think he ever remembered my name but he did always remember my face. A good, good
August 31, 2013
I will remember Mike as a man with strong convictions, immensely involved in his community and made it a
better place to live. He had also been a prior owner and resident of the "Crow's Nest" and loved to tell stories
of the steps and getting to/from school. As Evelyn Sanford once told me "There's good energy up there!" and I
believe Mike contributed to it! Thanks Mike for your smile and the number of heads that shook in amazement
after each encounter with you.
August 31, 2013
Rest in peace, Michael. I have enjoyed knowing you.
August 31, 2013
In loving memory from his dear brother, David Kirk and his neices and nephews; Frances,
Peter, Deborah and William Kirk. Always with us.
August 30, 2013
Although I was never a student in one of his classes, he always enjoyed our chance meetings (often at
Foodland). I believe he took great joy in speaking my name: "Ahhhh. Mister Fleischhauer. How are you?"
August 30, 2013
I shall always be greatful that following three attemps to pass algebra one, Mike finally passed me. With a D.
But at least he ensured I would graduate high school and no longer burden him. Thank you Mike, and I am
still sorry I painted the cliff above your home orange.
August 30, 2013
Mike's greatest lessons were taught outside the classroom. He was fearless in speaking truth to power -
probably because of his own experiences in Nazi Germany.
He was my friend.
August 30, 2013
Mike was a great educator. Thank you for touching so many students.
August 30, 2013
Wow! Mike Kirk was the real thing: a genuine free-thinking spirit without a moments hesitation to speak up
on issues that mattered to him. He made a lasting impression on many and helped shape the Juneau
The world, and Alaska, needs more souls like Mike Kirk.
August 30, 2013
I remember him fondly. Even as a ninth-grader, I realized that his eccentricity and irreverence were good things
(plus, my mother also had him as a teacher and said that he remembered her by name when she saw him at
parent-teacher meetings.) Definitely one of the good guys!
August 30, 2013
May your reward for your life's work be immense - in keeping with your good will - and bring you much joy. RIP 
Kathy Satko
August 30, 2013
Well old friend from many years back, we picked wild cotton at Eagle River. I enjoyed knowing you, see you in
August 30, 2013
Mike was the penultimate, irreverent teacher. I remember him zooming down the hall of JD High on his chair,
chuckling as he went. I'm sure administration was not real happy about that. Some kids really liked him and
learned a lot from him--some didn't. I was one who didn't learn to love math, but he taught me a lot about life,
especially after we reconnected years after graduation. He was very active in the Juneau dance community,
which, I'm sure, helped to keep him up and moving on his own. Unfortunately, I was unable to visit with him
after his mishap and while he was in Wildflower Court. I will miss you, Mike.
August 30, 2013
As a one-year student one didn't really know Mr. Kirk; so much as one experienced him. My experience was
short but never to be forgotten. Rest in peace.
August 30, 2013
I was one of the fortunate people for whom Mr. Kirk stuck his neck out. I will remember him fondly, always.
Rest in peace and thank you for your kindness.

1 comment:

  1. I remember him fondly as a friend of my father who had him and Mr. Hersh over to our house the first year that Mike came to town. I was in junior high school then. I never had him as a math teacher (he had our home room in the morning) which is just as well, as I always knew him in a social context without my being under the lash so to speak.