John Kirsch, 93

John Wendell Kirsch, age 93, of Sturgis, a man of quiet generosity, passed away peacefully at his home Monday afternoon, Nov. 2, 2020.
He was born Aug. 1, 1927, in Sturgis, a son of the late John N. and Evelyn (McLauchlin) Kirsch and grandson of the Kirsch Company founder, the late Charles W. Kirsch.
Mr. Kirsch was a lifelong resident of Sturgis and Klinger Lake. He attended Sturgis Public Schools until 1941, when he enrolled at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wis., graduating in 1945. He furthered his education at Stanford University in Stanford, California. After one year at Stanford, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving from 1946 – 1947, earning the rank of Seaman. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, he continued his education at Albion College in Albion, 1948, and Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., 1949-1950.
On June 25, 1949, he married Genevieve “Sugar” Moodey in Muncie, Ind.
Mr. Kirsch joined Kirsch Company in 1951. He began his career with the company in the mailroom moving on to Assistant Factory Manager, Assistant Director of Purchasing, Director of Purchasing, Treasurer and Executive Vice President of Operations. In October 1960, he was named President and in September of 1965 was made Chairman of the Board. He served as Chairman until June 30, 1980, when the company was sold to Cooper Industries of Houston.
Mr. Kirsch always found time to give back to others and his community. Some of his many social, fraternal and professional affiliations include: Sturgis Rotary Club, Past President; B.P.O.Elks #1381, Sturgis; Klinger Lake Country Club, Past President, Sturgis; Meridian Sun-Eagle Lodge #49 F&AM, Sturgis; Columbia Commandery #18, Past Commander, Sturgis; Sturgis Shrine Club, Scottish Rite, Grand Rapids; Saladin Temple, AAONMS, Grand Rapids; Park Club, Kalamazoo; Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, Florida; Sturgis Chamber of Commerce since 1964; Bank One, Past Director, Sturgis; Trustee Emeritus, Tri State College, Angola, Indiana; St. John’s Military Academy, Past Trustee, Delafield, Wisconsin; Howe Military School, Past Trustee, Howe, Ind., Past Trustee, Western Michigan University, Past Foundation Director, Kalamazoo; St. John’s Episcopal Church; and member of National Association of Manufacturers, serving on the Board of Directors 1969-1972. Mr. Kirsch was named Sturgis Citizen of the year in May 2005.
He enjoyed sport fishing, playing golf and traveling the world and was a longtime loyal fan of the University of Michigan Wolverines. Mr. Kirsch had many involvements, but what he truly loved was time with his family and his church.
He is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Genevieve “Sugar” Kirsch; two sons, Mark (Allison) Kirsch of Klinger Lake and Nicholas (Lyla) Kirsch of Scottsdale, Ariz.; six grandchildren, Emily (Robert) Kirsch Hernandez of Tampa, Fla., Megan Elizabeth Kirsch of Denver, Colo., Caroline Ashley Kirsch of Chicago, Genevieve Dee (Mats Alexander) Kirsch Myhre of Scottsdale, Ariz., Luke John Kirsch of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Katherine Leslie Kirsch of Sturgis; great-grandchildren Matson Nicholas Myhre and Lilla Genevieve Myhre; and several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Kirsch was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Christopher J. Kirsch; and a sister, Caryl J. Thompson.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. Family services will be held privately.
Hackman Family Funeral Homes of Sturgis is honored to be entrusted with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations in John Wendell Kirsch’s memory be directed to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 110 S. Clay Street, Sturgis, MI 49091; St. John’s Military Academy, 1101 Genesee Street, Delafield, WI 53018-1498; or Three Rivers Health Hospice, 711 S. Health Parkway, Three Rivers, MI 49093.
His obituary is also at, where we encourage relatives and friends to share memories and leave condolences for the family.

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