Father of Rep. Mark Kirk dies at 74

Feb. 7, 2008 at 8:26 PM
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KENILWORTH, Ill., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Francis Gabriel Kirk, the father of U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has died of pulmonary fibrosis at age 74 at his home in Kenilworth, Ill.

Francis Kirk died Monday, the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald reported Thursday.

Rep. Kirk told the newspaper his father had a wide range of interests. He was a pilot, pig farmer, computer designer, sculptor and author -- and a veteran of both the Army and Navy.

Frank Kirk got his pilot's license at 17. He joined the Navy, hoping to fly, but his Navy career was cut short because of astigmatism.

Later in life, he was often seen flying his Cessna Skyhawk from what now is called Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling.

Frank Kirk gave up farming and went to work at Illinois Bell, Bell Laboratories, AT&T and Vitrocesit SpA.

His 1973 book, "Total System Development for Information Systems," received a "Book of the Month" award for scientific publications, the Daily Herald said.

Frank Kirk is survived by his wife of 30 years, Beverly, and eight children -- Mark Kirk, Robin Kirk, Kristen Miller, Gretchen Miller, Melissa Hutchison, Eric Miller, Kyra Miller and Maya Kirk.

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