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Published: Sunday, 11/4/2012

Robert J. Kirk, 1913-2012: Leading local accountant served church, community

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Robert J. Kirk. Robert J. Kirk.
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Robert J. Kirk, retired managing partner of a top public accounting firm and a former TARTA trustee who was in demand to serve on corporate, civic, and charitable boards, died Wednesday in the health-care center of Swan Creek Retirement Village. He was 99.

Mr. Kirk lived independently until declining health forced him to move to a health-care center in August, 2007, his daughter Peggy said..

He was a certified public accountant and retired in 1975 as managing partner of Arthur Young & Co. He began his career about 40 years earlier with a predecessor accounting firm, Wideman, Madden, Dolan & Co.

He was best known for his business appraisals, which he would conduct for a company’s stockholders or partners, his son John said. He was a tax expert and continued to work 30 more years as a consultant.

“I really believe people trusted Dad, and I think his reputation preceded him,” his son said. “He didn’t have to sell himself. Other people would [say], ‘I want you to meet with Robert Kirk, and he’ll help you with whatever you need him to do.’ ”

His daughter said: “He really tried to stay independent and keep working. He kept his office downtown until 2005. Except for golf, work was his hobby.”

His golf skills earned him several local golf championships.

He served twice on the Ohio board of accountancy, in the 1950s by appointment of Gov. Frank Lausche and in the 1980s by appointment of Gov. Richard Celeste.

Mr. Kirk was a former president of Throm Supplies Inc. and of Toledo Mirror & Glass Co. He was on the boards of such well-known concerns as Toledo Trust Co.; Champion Spark Plug; Dinner Bell; Gerity Broadcasting; Kiemle-Hankins Co.; Broer-Freeman Co.; Seneca Wire & Manufacturing; Pilliod Cabinet, and Therma-Tru Corp. He was a former board chairman of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Northwestern Ohio. He was on the President’s Council of the Toledo Museum of Art.

In 1986, he began his duty as a trustee of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority and was a vice president of the board.

He was a treasurer of the then-Toledo Automobile Club and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. He was on the boards of United Way of Greater Toledo, the Medical College of Ohio Foundation, and the Toledo Community Foundation.

In the 1970s, he served on committees to study the school system and city government. “He was dedicated and gave his time, talent, and treasure whenever he could,” his daughter said. “Part of that was making sure that the treasure from others in the community was allocated according to needs. He worked toward that goal.”

Mr. Kirk was a graduate of the former St. John’s High School and St. John’s College in North Toledo.

He served on the bishop’s finance committee for the Diocese of Toledo, the Catholic Club, and the youth department. He volunteered for Central City Ministries.

“He really cared about the poor,” his daughter said. “If the bishop asks you to do something, you have the honor of serving. That’s how he felt about that.”

He was born on April 23, 1913. His father, Charles A. Kirk, served as Toledo postmaster.

He and his wife, Margaret Mary “Maggie” Kirk, married June 5, 1940. She died Dec. 18, 1990. Their son James F. Kirk died March 22, 1983.

Surviving are his sons, Thomas, John, William, and the Rev. David Kirk; daughters, Margaret Ann “Peggy” Kirk and Marianne Merren; 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation is to be from 5 to 8 p.m. today and 2 to 8 p.m. Monday in the Coyle Funeral Home, with a vigil service at 7 p.m. Monday in the mortuary. The funeral is to be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.

Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182



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