Sally Ann Kirk was born November 6, 1943 in Joplin, Missouri to Claude and Margaret Stoots and grew up in Neosho, Missouri. She lived at various times in St. Louis, Missouri; Port Jefferson, New York; Gainesville, Florida; College Station, Texas; and Garland, Texas. She died July 11, 2019 in Garland, Texas.
She graduated from Neosho High School and earned an Associate of Arts degree in 1963 from Missouri Southern State University (formerly known as Joplin Junior College), as well as a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Geography from Texas A&M University in 1980. Her honors included the College of Geosciences Outstanding Student Award and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.
She was a talented artist and designer. She sewed many of her own clothes and made jewelry. Her art talent was recognized in high school, and she was awarded an art scholarship to attend college. While living in Port Jefferson, Sally worked at SUNY Stony Brook as an executive assistant for Nobel Laureate physicist Chen-Ning Yang and Distinguished Professor of Physics Max Dresden. As a practicing artist, she sketched a vivacious picture of Yang’s daughter, which he loved and autographed years later when he visited her in Dallas at an invitational dinner.
She greatly enjoyed traveling and planned many trips to learn about different geographic regions, cultures, art, and architecture. Among her many travels and adventures, Sally went to Guatemala on a University of Florida archaeology trip, dug for fossils along the banks of the Brazos River, traveled with the Kimbell Art museum with her husband throughout Europe and Asia, and traveled all over the United States with her family.
Her love of places and peoples led her to complete her degree in Geography. After Sally attained her Bachelor’s degree, she was a cartographer, which was a position that perfectly matched her interests in geography, her big picture view of the world, her interest in the intersections between art and science, and her incredible attention to detail. Among the many maps, graphics, and charts she made, she created hurricane tracking charts used on television.
Other positions Sally held included computer instructor at Southwood Valley Elementary in College Station and human resources compensation analyst at Texas A&M University.
Her artistic talent and interests led her to design and oversee the building of two houses for her family; the first house was in College Station, TX, and the second house was in Garland, TX in Spring Park. She was a consummate homemaker and decorator.
When she moved to Spring Park, she organized the Spring Park Book Club and served on the Spring Park Architectural Control Committee as well as the Spring Park Home Owners Association Board of Directors.
Sally was inherently curious and observant, and approached life with a joie de vivre. She enjoyed music and loved dancing. Sally had an amazing vocabulary and read widely. She could zip through a New York Times crossword puzzle, and had an uncanny ability to easily find four-leaf clovers within seconds in just about any clover patch. One time on the grounds of the Colosseum in Rome, she found five four-leaf clovers and a six-leaf clover within 30 minutes.
Sally loved her family immensely and will be missed as a wonderful, kind, and caring person.
She is survived by immediate family members Wiley P. Kirk (husband, married 55 years), Camille Kirk Stein (daughter), Alexander Kirk (son), Benjamin Stein (son-in-law), Sarah Isabella Stein (granddaughter), Joan Wei Kirk (daughter-in-law), Susan Stoots Beezley Frutiger (sister), Mauriahh Beezley Esquivel (niece), Steve Frutiger (brother-in-law), Alan Kirk (brother-in-law), Molly Kirk (sister-in-law), Stephanie Kirk Fuller (niece), Sonja Kirk Williams (niece), and Alan Kirk, Jr. (nephew).
Memorial services will be held in Garland on Thursday, August 8, 1:30 PM at SpringPark Club; in Neosho on Saturday, August 10, 1:30 PM at Clark Funeral Home; and in Santa Fe, date to be determined. Donations in Sally’s memory may be made to the Garland Symphony Orchestra, mailing address P.O. Box 461204, Garland, TX 75046 or online at www.garlandsymphony.org.
Online condolences may be posted at www.clarkfuneralhomes.com
Services are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho, MO.