Dolores Ruth Tomer Kirk, 85, ‘Mama’ to many who enjoyed worldwide excursions

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Dolores Ruth Tomer Kirk sought a new path of comfort on Friday, May 29, 2015, when she died at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. She had reached her 85th birthday earlier this year, having come into this world on Feb. 17, 1930, in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Her life was celebrated on her recent birthday surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She did miss on that day her husband, Will and her parents, Kenneth C. and Dorothy Dale Tomer. Also absent from that gathering were her aunt, Ethel Cox; brothers, Gordon, Graydon and “Bus” Tomer; and brothers-in-law, DeWitt, Ray and Dick Kirk, all of whom preceded her in death.

Surviving Dolores to remember her grace and kindness are her children and their families: Ken and Connie Kirk, of Corning, New York, Karen Kirk and Travis Williams, of Carolina Beach, Kelly Oxendine, of Wilmington and Tom and Sue Kirk, of North Topsail Beach and Winter Park, Colorado.

Her grandchildren were the most beloved of all: Ben Kirk and Emily Nester, of Ithaca, New York, Johnathan Kirk, of Corning, New York and Kent, Ohio and Christy and Wendy Oxendine, of Wilmington. Special to her as well are Tom and Sue’s family: Ian Gorman, Beth Gorman, Frank and Laura Krimmel and great-granddaughter, London Krimmel.

Dolores was a “Mama” to a lot of other children too, including her dear nieces and nephews in the Tomer family: Sherri Tomer Planton, husband, Jeff and children, Sydney and Madeline, of Reston, Virginia, Steve Tomer, of Williamsburg, Virginia, Wesley Tomer and wife, Linda, of Arlington, Virginia, Beth Tomer, of Boynton Beach, Florida, Becky Calvin, husband, Matt and son, Sam, of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, Tim Tomer, wife, Dawn and children, Christopher, Chandler and Kiera, of Hurricane, West Virginia and Laurie Tomer and Danny Tomer.

The Kirk family was also very important to her: Ann Kirk and son, Rick, of Cypress, California, Katherine Kirk and son, Ben, of Oklahoma, Dorothy Kirk and sons, Billy and Jimmy, of California and Bob and Dorothy Thomas, of Pennsylvania.

Dolores’ friendships were deep and lasted a lifetime. After she and Will moved to the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area in 1962, they joined Wrightsville United Methodist Church and developed relationships that have sustained all of life’s joys and trials. She, and now her family, are forever grateful for the love that was shared among those wonderful, loving friends and families.

The giving and compassionate nature that Dolores offered to the world was apparent in her early nursing career as an RN after completing Christ Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati. She continued her studies at Otterbein College where she met Wilber – who fell in love with “that red-headed nurse” and married her in 1954.

Once they made it to the beach in North Carolina, this was home and they became entrenched in their church and many community activities. Dolores particularly loved the Mary Martha Circle at WUMC and the United Methodist Women’s group. Her favorite activity was the Mothers’ Morning Out program where she had the further chance to share her love with children.

She served on the board and as president of the YWCA and for several years was integrally involved in the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes through UNCW. She and Will traveled the globe with his work activities and after his passing in 2001, she enjoyed many worldwide excursions with her friends. She enjoyed so many warm, wonderful memories in her life and in turn she offered the gifts of compassion, generosity, kindness and grace to all. Her life was well-lived and God helped her utilize her talents well.

A memorial service to celebrate Dolores’ impact on her family and friends will be held at noon Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Wrightsville United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends for a light lunch following the service at the church fellowship hall. The family will also host friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 5, 2015, at Dolores’ home, 2305 Horizon Court.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Dolores’ memory to the Wilber W. Kirk – LaQue Center Endowment Scholarship, Marine Technology Department, Cape Fear Community College, 411 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC 28401.

The family is so grateful for the outpouring of love from our friends and family

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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