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Joseph's Story

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Joseph Edward Kirt, 86, of Lake Leelanau, died Saturday, April 1 at Tendercare of Leelanau. Joseph was born on the family farm in Provemont (Lake Leelanau) on April 30, 1930 and was the youngest of eight children of Louis and Mary (O'Brien) Kirt.
The journey of our dad's life was supposed to be short lived but that was not God's plan. As a child living on the farm, he developed rheumatic fever and was not expected to live beyond the age of his early teen years. First thing every morning before breakfast, dad would say the rosary. Then his day could begin. He was a man of strong Catholic faith and always went to church. He was a member of St. Mary Church in Lake Leelanau where he was an Eucharistic minister.
He became a good cook and never complained about food. He lived in an era when your word meant something and a handshake closed the deal.
He loved all animals and enjoyed feeding the chickadees by hand and teaching his dog, Shadow, new tricks. He looked forward to playing euchre with his nephews and talked about the great time he always had. Also, his cribbage board was always on the table ready for a game.
He was a mechanic by trade and worked at Maple Equipment, Robert Weaver Farm & Tractor Works to name a few. He traveled all over Leelanau and Benzie county on service calls repairing tractors and cherry shakers. If someone needed help he went. Hard work was a way of life. He will be greatly missed.
Joseph is survived by two sons and three daughters, Jim (Eileen) Kirt, of Arizona, Pam (Tom) Kearns, of Indiana, Kathy (Ted) Peplinski, of Lake Leelanau, Sue (Dave) Novak, of Maple City and Rich Kirt, of Traverse City; sister-in-law, Inez Kirt; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marcia; daughter, Diane; and siblings, Dennis Kirt, Florence Sharnowski, Arthur Kirt, Edith Matthews, Alfred Kirt, Donald Kirt and Margaret Peplinski.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5 with the rosary to be prayed at 7 p.m. at Martinson Funeral Home, Suttons Bay. The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 6 with visitation one hour prior at St. Mary Church, Lake Leelanau. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery. Fr. Michael Janowski will serve as celebrant.
Memorials may be directed to St. Mary School, P.O. Box 340, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653.
A special thank you to the staff and great friends at Tendercare of Leelanau and Hospice of Michigan who assisted with our dad's care during his stay.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the Kirt family at www.martinson.info
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on April 4, 2017
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