LifeStoryNet.com

Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

 

Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Vonda Kirk

August 21, 2019
Kalamazoo, MI

//cdn.lifestorynet.com/fh/obituary-default.jpg

Obituary


Print

Vonda L. Kirk, 93, died peacefully on August 21, 2019 at Upjohn Care and Rehabilitation Center, Kalamazoo. She was born November 9, 1925 to Russell T. and Bessie J. (Van Siclen) Warner in Lake Odessa, Michigan. The family moved to Kalamazoo when she was two. Vonda was a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School and received a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Western Michigan University. In 1947 Vonda married her high school sweetheart, Robert N. Powell of Kalamazoo. During most of their 31 years of marriage, Bob and Vonda lived near Richland and were centrally involved in Kalamazoo's square dance community. They were active members of the former East Main United Methodist Church, where Vonda directed three choirs, and then Richland Presbyterian Church, where Vonda directed the children's choir. Their marriage ended in 1978 and Bob died in 1998. Vonda was a teacher in the Kalamazoo Public Schools for more than two decades. Her assignments included Woodrow Wilson School, Lincoln School, and Loy Norrix High School, where she led the child development program. Vonda retired from the Kalamazoo Schools in 1984 and moved to a home on Lake Michigan near Shelby, Michigan. Her love of lakes began as a young child with family outings to Lake Michigan. She joined the Shelby Congregational Church choir and, in 1987, married a fellow choir member, John M. Kirk of Shelby. Their many involvements included family, community organizations, golf, travel, and especially Shelby Congregational Church, where Vonda directed the children's choir. John died in 2004. The following year Vonda moved to West Lafayette, Indiana, to live near a son and family. She resided at the University Place retirement community, was active in pottery and drama groups, and attended St. John's Episcopal Church with her family in Lafayette. Vonda returned to Kalamazoo in 2013. She joined Pine Island Presbyterian Church, where she worshipped with long-time friends, and volunteered as a classroom assistant at Edison School for several years. Pine Island Church members were lovingly helpful to Vonda as her health declined. Vonda traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, enjoyed classical music and theatre, nurtured many lifelong friendships, and loved being a grandma. Basket weaving, drawing, and pottery were serious hobbies in retirement. In addition to her parents and husband John, Vonda was preceded in death by a son, Russell J. Powell; a sister, Verda Nelson; a brother, Trevor Warner; a brother, Murrell Warner, who died in childhood; and a nephew, Rodney Warner. Survivors include a son, Douglas (Barbara) Powell; grandchildren Rachel (Donavan Yarnall) Powell, Philip (Candice) Powell, Roxie (Al Scott) Powell, and Clint (Jamie Anderson) Powell; great-grandchildren Isaac Yarnall, Alexander Yarnall, Raielyn Powell, and Anthony Scott; sister-in-law Hazel "Tootie" Warner; and nieces and nephews. Vonda also is survived by her late husband John's daughter Kathy (Bruce) Fox, son Tom (Karen) Kirk, grandchildren Eric (Deana) Fox, Todd (Kellie) Fox, Jill (Paul) Franz, Abigail Kirk, Anna (Jeb) Blanton, and great-grandchildren. Cremation has occurred, per Vonda's wishes, and her ashes will be inurned at Riverside Cemetery, Kalamazoo. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, October 14 at the Westside Chapel of Langeland Funeral Homes, 3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo. The Rev. Dr. John Best will officiate and an informal gathering will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pine Island Presbyterian Church (7888 S. 8th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49009) or Shelby Congregational United Church of Christ (51 East Third St., Shelby, MI 49455). https://www.langelands.com