Robert M. Van Kirk

  • Born: October 22, 1928
  • Died: January 27, 2020
  • Location: Melrose

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family


Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Robert by adding your memories and photos.

Robert M. Van Kirk died at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital on January 27, 2020 at the age of 91. He was born in Columbia, NJ on October 22, 1928 to the late Marvin & Grace (Kinney) Van Kirk. Robert was raised in Belvidere, NJ, graduated from Belvidere High School in 1947 and entered the US Navy in 1948. Mr. Van Kirk served in the Navy for 30 years, served in the Korean & Vietnam Wars and retired as a Chief Petty Officer. After his retirement from the service he worked as a project manager at Spaulding & Sly in Boston for a few years and then as a self employed carpenter for many years. He has been a resident of Melrose for 52 years. Robert was very involved in the veteran's organizations over the years. He was the State Commander from 2004-2005, a lifetime member of the Harold O. Young VFW Post 2394 in Melrose, and member of the DAV, the American Legion, Korean Veterans Organization and the Navy Vessels Membership. He was considered a "Brown Shoe Navy Veteran" because he was on the aviation side of the US Navy. He was also a member of the Masonic Order Lodge 13 in Belvidere, NJ and a member of the National Rifle Association. Mr. Van Kirk enjoyed camping and fishing, spending time in the summer in Sanford, Maine and winters in Key West, Florida. He and his wife Rita would travel to a different convention every year, he also enjoyed reading non- fiction and watching football and baseball.

Robert was the beloved husband of 52 years to Rita M. (Boyle) Van Kirk. Loving brother of Barbara Whitney and her late husband Henry of NJ. Cherished uncle of Sharon Rahman, Steve Whitney, Patricia Boyle, Paula Boyle, Michael Boyle & Lawrence Boyle and their families.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster St. Melrose on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 9:00-11:00AM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. "Van" was in the US Navy for 30 years and was a Korea & Vietnam War Veteran. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.