Kirk Levine loved nothing more than being with friends and family.
Whether it was grilling out on the patio with wife Ann and his children, going on trips with his siblings or socializing with friends, Kirk was at his best around people. On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Levine, 61, of Creston, died after battling cancer for more than year.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Salem Lutheran Church. Burial will follow at the Graceland Cemetery in Creston. A remembrance gathering will be held at the Lobby following the burial. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, at Pearson Family Funeral Service in Creston. On-line condolences may be left at www.pearsonfuneralhomes.com. Pallbearers will be Dave Buck, Tim Gray, Keith Moore, Steve McCann, Mel McKie and Paul Somers. Honorary pallbearers will be Randy Bruns, Mike Droll and Joel Paige.
Kirk Phillip Levine was born on Feb. 5, 1954, in Atlantic, to Ronald and Joan (Phillips) Levine. The family came to Creston during Kirks freshman year in high school in 1968, after previously living in Elk Horn and Schleswig.
His love of sports started at an early age and thanks to his father, Ron, he developed an undying love for the Chicago White Sox. His love for the Sox, through the heartache and the high times, including a World Series championship in 2005, was passed along to his three sons, Matt, Jeff and Scott. Kirk also was an avid fan of Iowa State football and basketball, and while that didnt pass along to all of his sons, it did hit the mark with Jeff and Scott.
Kirk graduated from Creston High School in 1972 and Southwestern Community College in 1974. He also became an Iowa State University graduate in 1978.
His love of sports was not only evident in being a spectator. That love fueled an athletic career that included playing basketball and baseball at SWCC, and launched an officiating career that featured several years in professional and college baseball.
Kirk graduated from Al Somers Umpiring School in 1977 and began his professional umpiring career the same year in the Lone Star League. During his time going through the ranks of the Minor League Baseball circuit, he married Ann Fogle on Sept. 27, 1980, in Creston.
Ann and Kirk recently marked their 35th wedding anniversary. Whether it was out on the town or at home sharing a drink on the patio, Kirk and Anns love wasnt hard to find. The quantity of time together may not have been to either of their liking, but their time was spent with the utmost of quality.
Kirk continued his professional umpiring career until 1983, when he retired from the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He officiated high school baseball, softball, football and basketball for 26 years. He also officiated junior college basketball, along with being a NCAA baseball umpire for 20 years.
He was the Adult Education Coordinator at SWCC for 13 years and worked for Lakeside Casino in Osceola for 14 years.
In addition to watching sports, Kirk enjoyed golfing, playing cards with his friends and beating his boys in board games. He was a member of the Creston Elks Lodge 605, serving as Exalted Ruler in 1993-94. He also was a member of Salem Lutheran Church and the Iowa girls and boys athletic associations.
He is survived by his wife Ann, of Creston; three sons, Matthew (Melissa), of Creston; Jeffrey (Amy), of Mount Ayr; and Scott (Christina), of Clinton; father, Ron, of Creston; seven grandchildren, Hayden, Rebecca, Carter, Peyton, Phoebe, Emmett and Talon; two brothers, Gary (Julie), of Anthem, Arizona; and Roger (Cathy), of Hinsdale, Illinois; brother-in-law, Jerry (Jan) Walker, of Alleman; sister-in-law Lisa (Dennis) McLaughlin, of Pleasant Hill; and nieces, nephews, cousins and an uncle.
Kirk was preceded in death by his mother, Jo Levine; sister, Cindy Walker; brothers Mark and Greg Levine; father and-mother-in-law Raymond and Betty Fogle.
Memorials may be directed to a scholarship fund to be established in Kirks name at Southwestern Community College.