Elaine “Blondie” Kirk, 97, of River Forest, died peacefully on April 17, 2023, at her daughter’s home in Indiana. Born in Princeton, Illinois, on Oct. 1, 1925, Blondie, as she was called by everyone who knew her, grew up on a farm during the Depression and was the youngest of seven children of Herman and Selma Nelson. Her dad insisted that all the children go to college and she attended Knox College in Galesburg. After graduating, she met her future husband, Harold Kirk, on a blind date. They married in Princeton and moved to the near western suburbs, eventually settling in River Forest.

She loved the outdoors and spent many weeks during the year hunting in North Dakota and fishing in Canada with her husband.

Very active in the community, she served on the Women’s Auxiliary of West Suburban Hospital and with the Infant Welfare Society of OP-RF. She was also involved in First Presbyterian Church of River Forest as an elder. For many years she served on the village of River Forest’s Planning and Development Board. The Kirks were longtime members of the River Forest Tennis Club and the Oak Park Country Club.

One of the late honors in her life was the dedication of the 600 block of Keystone as Elaine “Blondie” Kirk Way to honor her years of service to the community.

Blondie is preceded in death by her husband Harold. She is survived by her four children, Scott (Jean), Todd (Jane), Kent (Denise) and Ann Williams (Doug). She had 14 grandchildren who adored her and 13 great-grandchildren.

A wake was held on April 29, followed by a memorial service at First Presbyterian Church of River Forest, 7551 Quick Ave., River Forest, with a lunch and reception at the Oak Park Country Club in River Grove.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to First Presbyterian Church of River Forest is welcomed.

Join the discussion on social media!