Jim Kirk: A ‘Wonderful Life’

I’m a sucker for Jimmy Stewart. I’ve seen most everything he was ever in, including an early role in that 1936 Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy classic, Rose Marie (don’t tell anyone). My favorite Stewart role? George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. A seasonal classic, the movie chronicles the life of a man who’s touched so many others in such a positive way, that his is indeed a wonderful life.

Jim Kirk of Montesano was that kind of man, with that kind of life.

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Last spring I had the privilege of interviewing “Captain” Jim Kirk for a story for Grays Harbor Talk. What an adventure!

When I first contacted Jim about doing a story on him, he balked. “Well, I dunno, kiddo,” he said. “My life isn’t all that interesting. I haven’t really done a whole lot.”

“Well, Jim,” I replied. “How ‘bout we start with some basic background and see where it goes?”

He agreed. Two 90+ minute phone interviews and a half-day face-to-face interview later, I had enough material to write what became my favorite story of 2015: “Captain” James G. Kirk – Going Where No 90 Year-Old Has Gone Before. It begins like this:

James G. Kirk of Montesano may slow down one of these days. But don’t count on it.  Steering into uncharted waters is nothing new for 90-year-old “Captain Kirk.” Whether it’s serving in the merchant marine, the Civil Air Service, singing light opera, or real estate investing, Jim Kirk has been innovating and blazing trails for nine decades.

Some of those trails include service in the Army National Guard during high school, working in the manufacturing division of Chrysler in his hometown, Detroit, and eight years in the Civil Air Service in the 1930s and 40s. Kirk had to drop out of high school to help support his family, but earned his diploma after getting married. …

To continue reading, click here.

20150302_160441.jpgJim Kirk was promoted to glory on Tuesday morning , May 10, after a massive stroke. He was 91+. A memorial service will take place on Wednesday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. at the Montesano Presbyterian Church, 300 Block E. McBryde Avenue. Military Honors provided by Post 2455, Montesano. Services by Harrison Mortuary.

Refreshments after services, provided by the ladies at the church.

Jim Kirk was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I’ve ever known.  His was indeed a “wonderful life.”

RIP Cap’n. You will be missed.