SHIRK, Michael H. “Mike”, age 87 of Vandalia, passed away Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. Mike was born December 21, 1935 in Marion, OH, son of the late Edwin H. & Lillian P. (Bradshaw) Shirk He graduated in 1954 from Troy High School as class president and received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1959. Preceded in death by his beloved wife, Rosie, in 2016. He is survived by their five children: Jane (Jeff) Tompkins Jacobs, James (Peggy) Shirk, John (Michele) Shirk, Julia (Jeff) Hughes, and Joann (Andy) Morgan; 16 grandchildren: Emily (Travis) Funk, Andy Tompkins, Rebecca (Cory) Dieter, William Tompkins, Michael Shirk, Ryan Shirk, Alex Shirk, Nicole (Tim) Staley, Johnny Shirk, Jackson Bush, Samantha Hughes, Bennett Hughes, Natalie Hughes, Collin (Olivia) Morgan, Clayton Morgan, and Alley Morgan; ten great-grandchildren: Hazel Funk, Zander Funk, Ava Shirk Huffman, Luna Staley, Leo Staley, Leia Staley, Lillian Morgan, Liam Morgan, Nora Morgan, and Winona Morgan. He was preceded in death by his sisters: Marjorie, Clarice, and Sue. Mike entered active duty with the U.S. Air Force in 1959 working in the Aircraft Laboratory and the X-20 Dyna-Soar System program at Wright Patterson Air Force base. After three years of active duty, he returned to the Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright Patterson, specializing in static and dynamic aeroelasticity. He worked on the B-52, F-111, B-1, A-10, F-16 and others. He holds a patent on the design of a forward-swept wing aircraft, as seen in the X-29.
Mike was a gifted wood worker, creating furniture and many beautiful pieces for family and friends. He was deeply honored to make the altar, ambo, candlesticks and other elements of St Christopher’s Church, together with Fr Bob Monnin.
Mike was also a talented photographer and a member of the Dayton Tripod Club. He especially enjoyed photographing the Dayton Air Show.
Mike was an active member of St. Christopher Catholic Church in many capacities. He served as a member of the Worship Commission and the Faith Formation and Enrichment Committee. He was a team member of the Christ Renews His Parish program, a leader of The Nice Day to Celebrate Marriage, and served as a bereavement minister. Together with Rosie, he was a presenter for pre-Cana and Marriage Encounter weekends at the retreat house in Maria Stein. He was a member of a men’s prayer group for over thirty years, most recently meeting at his home a few weeks ago. He was a loving husband and father; a kind and generous person with a deep faith and love of prayer. His greatest joy was to be surrounded by his extensive family.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, September 16, 2023 at St. Christopher Catholic Church, 435 E. National Rd., Vandalia with Fr. Smith officiating. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Troy, Ohio. The family will receive friends at St. Christopher Church on Friday evening from 5-7 pm and also on Saturday morning from 9:30 am until the time of mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent DePaul Hotel or Foundation Fighting Blindness at https://give.fightingblindness.org/event/cincinnati-northern-kentucky-visionwalk-2023/e463613 (Please select Team Blue Eyes)
Arrangements entrusted to Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home, Vandalia. www.mortonwhetstonefh.com