Jerry Franklin Kirk M.S. ’68, 80, a resident of Santa Clara, entered into rest on Aug. 4, 2012, at the Terraces of Los Gatos, a skilled nursing facility, after fighting a battle with cancer. Jerry was born in Salisbury, N.C., to Arnold Burtis Clay Kirk and Virley (Maxwell) Kirk on April 13, 1932.
He was preceded in death by his parents, ABC and Virley (Maxwell) Kirk; and his brothers and sisters, John Clay (Catherine), Dorothy Eamich (Richard), Raymond (Lois), Arnold Jr (Ettamae), Mildred Shortall (William), Evelyn Jean Kirk-Ramsey (Jack) and Margaret Larabee (Leo). He is survived by his sister, Nina Jo Kirk-Scoggins (William) of Lexington, N.C.; three sons, Steven Arnold, Kevan Scot and Jody Kenneth; and five grandchildren.
Jerry graduated from Boyden High School in Salisbury Class of 1950. He served as a radar engineer in the Air Force from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean War. After his military service, Jerry attended the University of Maryland and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Jerry married Betty Jo Gregg in San Diego, Calif. He spent most of his career at, and retired from, Lockheed-Martin in Sunnyvale, Calif. He worked primarily on the now declassified reconnaissance satellite programs "Gambit" and "Hexagon." Since the programs became declassified, Jerry was able to share the details of his involvement in the programs and was extremely proud of his contribution to the programs success.
Jerry continued his education while raising a family and working for Lockheed-Martin and obtained a Masters in Engineering from Santa Clara University. While Jerry was growing up, the family owned a horse at the Milford Hills residence outside of Salisbury, N.C. Through his childhood experiences, Jerry developed a life-long passion for horses and horse racing. Once asked what made him smile, his response was, "Picking a horse race winner!"