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Robert “Bob” James Wescott Tirk

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Robert “Bob” James Wescott Tirk, 75, died July 3, 2018, in Woodstock.

He was born May 29, 1943, in Boston, the son of James Wescott and Marguerite (Greb) Wescott. After James Wescott died while serving in the Coast Guard during World War II, Marguerite married Richard “Dick” E. Tirk, who adopted Bob at age 4. Bob grew up in New York and also spent time with the Greb family in Wisconsin.

Bob graduated from Briarcliff High School in New York and was one of many family members to attend Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., where he majored in music education. There he met fellow music student Ann Uber, who was performing an opera double bill. They married June 19, 1965, in her hometown of Hartford, Wis., and spent 53 happy years together.

Bob and Ann both taught in McHenry County, where he was a music educator for 29 years in Huntley, Woodstock, and Marengo. Early in their teaching careers, they lived on farms in Woodstock, where they raised pigs and chickens and got into the hay-baling business. In Marengo, Bob took his band students on many adventures, including trips to California, Florida, and Churchill, Manitoba.

After retirement, he continued to teach part time and worked for the Marengo Park District, where he created the “Summer with the Arts” program and helped to build the town pool. Bob also enjoyed ham radio, model railroading, family history, National Park stamp collecting, beekeeping, and serving as a den mother for his son’s Cub Scout Pack

He later returned to teaching with Ann at Huntley. After they retired, they continued their travels, visiting all 50 states, Mexico, and all but one of the Canadian provinces. At home in Woodstock and Florida, Bob enjoyed singing with several barbershop groups, the Tree of Life Church Choir, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota Choir. He was an expert chef at Dutch Oven Gatherings, for P.A.D.S. and Compassion for Campers, and for his grandchildren, who loved his bacon and pancakes.

He is survived by his wife, Ann; a daughter, Liz (Brian) Yanoff, of Niskayuna, N.Y.; a son, Richard (Suzanne) Tirk, of Norman, Okla.; a brother, Kirby (Veronica) Tirk, of West Chester, Pa.; and four grandchildren, Eliana and Jacob Yanoff and Simon and Malia Tirk.

Visitation will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 20 at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation,  McHenry, where a celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. July 21.

Memorials may be made to Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation or The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.

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