Ed Kirk passed away this week (7/14/2009). For many years he has blessed Ohio Yearly Meeting as well as Friends, friends and family around the world.

Calling hours (12 - 2 p.m.) followed by a memorial service (2 p.m.) at Stillwater Meeting House are planned for 7/18.

Those who wish to share fond memories of Ed are invited to post here.

More than one person who knew Ed has remarked that we will not only miss Ed, his tenderness and faithfulness, but we will miss the precious role he played in our lives as Friends.

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I met Ed about ten years ago during a visit to Stillwater. His manner was friendly, but I was concerned that the more he found out about me, the less I would measure up. That's because I sensed that he was a man who took the Lord's will seriously, and I considered myself still a work in progress, with a long way to go. I could not imagine Ed bothering with someone like me.

I found out pretty quickly just how wrong I was. The more we shared about our lives, just the little details, the more we found we had in common. I rode a motorcycle, and Ed had loved the times he rode one in his younger days. Both of us loved the forest, and all of nature. Both of us enjoyed good, wholesome, simple foods, and were concerned to take care of our health so that we could continue to be helpful to others. And, of course, we both loved the Lord and were happy when we could share developments in our spiritual lives with one another.

One difference between us was that Ed did not get caught up in excuses for failing to do what was best. While I am sure he had his trials, he did not (it seemed to me) get bogged down or distracted by anything that might keep him from following the Lord in any matter.

Ed faced more serious difficulties in his life than I ever would have imagined from his way of interacting with people. He seemed joyful, at times carefree, laughing, smiling, welcoming. But he had lived through some very painful and dangerous experiences. I thank the Lord for bringing Ed through those experiences so that many of our lives would be touched by his.

In Ministry and Oversight meetings, and meeting for worship, Ed called us toward a higher, better way of being. He reminded us of the necessity of prayer, and our responsibility to continue in prayer. He did not admonish people to do anything he was not already doing. He supported us with prayer, and with listening, and with tender kindness and patience.

So I will end this note emphasizing what Ed emphasized by his words and actions. Pray. Pray always. Pray first, and not as a last resort. Do what is right and encourage others to do the same. Don't make excuses for doing less than you know you are called to do. Listen to others. Smile at them. Welcome them. Find what you have in common. Be tender, kind and patient.
Ed didn't speak in meeting as often as some others. I always felt that if he knew more about me that he wouldn't approve of much of my circumstances at different points in my life; and would at others. He had a gentle and loving nature though. Several times when I was having a difficult time, his speaking in meeting spoke to my condition profoundly. Most notably during my first marraige I was having a problem with my self-esteem. I was visiting home, and he spoke in meeting that weekend about forgiving one's self being difficult, when God had already forgiven us. Hearing that at that particular moment was a changing point for me, and for the way I viewed myself. I think I might have thanked him for his message. He and his brother, Morris, were both positive influences in my life, and I will always remember them both as such.

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