Trust the Torch!

Kirk B. Halma, 64

Kirk B. Halma, age 64, of Woodstock, Ill., passed away peacefully at home on March 16, 2021, with his loving, fun wife, Kate, at his side, his beloved dogs at his feet, and some of his favorite ’70s rock songs shared by his best friend Bruce McConnell playing. 

After graduating from Woodstock High School (Class of ’75) and Marquette University, Kirk worked his way through careers in insurance; he partnered with his father to operate a hardware store; he ventured into computer-aided design; and spent many successful years at Centerville Properties. At the age of 52, he dedicated his life’s work to training dogs and became known for his success in rectifying some of the most challenging dogs. During his career as a professional dog trainer, he schooled over 1,200 dogs and their families. With his companion Chance at his side, they volunteered for nearly 800 hours to assist patients in physical rehabilitation. Kirk’s greatest accomplishment was the establishment of True Blue Dogs, a nonprofit dedicated to develop and gift service dogs to victims of post-traumatic stress (PTSD). Only recently begun, True Blue Dogs continues to address the rights and responsibilities of service dog teams.

Along with his passion for dogs, Kirk was a natural musician who loved good music, motorcycles, RAGBRAI, the mountains, sushi, and a good martini, shaken not stirred. 

Kirk is survived by his wife, Kate (Kathryn A. Murauskas) Halma; his mother, Carol J. Halma; sisters,, Lauri (Peter) Swenson and Lisa (Tom) Rhoades; brother, Solomon Abraham; his in-laws, Victor and Karen Murauskas; loving aunts, uncles, and many cousins. He will be missed by his five talented nieces and one unique nephew, some of whom called him Funcle Kirk. He also leaves behind many dear friends from his diverse circles in life, from Woodstock to Milwaukee, Baltimore, Connecticut and Florida. 

Kirk was preceded in death by his father, Minno Halma.

Kirk’s life will be celebrated at a later date when all can gather safely.

In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to True Blue Dogs (EIN 82-3471749, Woodstock, IL) or JourneyCare (Barrington, IL).

For online condolences’, visit, or call Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney at 815-338-1710 for more information.

Woodstock's most trusted news source. Period.

Keep Exploring

The world-famous Harlem Wizards will visit Woodstock High School on Friday, May 3, for an evening of fun and fundraising. The Wizards will play a game…

Subscriber Access