American Patriotic 10


George G. Shirk

August 25, 1923 ~ January 4, 2019 (age 95)
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A great man from the Greatest Generation passed away at the age of 95. George G. Shirk of Rock Island Friendship Manor, formerly of Davenport, Iowa, went to be with the Lord on January 4, 2019. George loved his family and the Lord. He was a great man, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  Services will be 12 pm Monday at Edgewood Baptist Church, 2704 38th Street, Rock Island.  Visitation will be from 10 am to 12 pm Monday at the church.  Burial will be private at a later date in Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island.  Memorials may be made in care of the Handicapped Development Center, 3402 Hickory Grove Rd., Davenport, IA 52806.  Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island, is assisting the family.

After his mother died at the age of two, his father placed him in the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home (Annie Wittenmyer Home) where he lived until the age of 13. His father took him from the Home to live and work with him.

George then joined the Navy at the age of 17 in March 1941. After two years in Argenta, Greenland, he spent time in Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Rhode Island before being transferred to England in preparation of D-Day. He was assigned to Salvage Tug ATR 2 and performed rescue and beach clearing operations on Omaha Beach the morning of the attack. He married Jean A. White in 1945 and they lived in New York City while he attended divers’ school. He was later transferred to Manila, Philippines. There he assisted dive crews in recovering gold that the Japanese dumped into Subic Bay during their retreat.

After the War he worked many jobs while he attended Palmer College of Chiropractic. After graduation he practiced for a short time in Rockford. He started his career on the Davenport Fire Dept in 1953. He rose through the ranks and retired as the department Training Officer in 1979.

He leaves behind to honor his memory four children,  Diane Denekas, Chillicothe, Ill., Mona (Ken) Cassatt, Milan, Jerry (Grace) Shirk, Rock Island and Marci Shirk, Davenport; his grandchildren Sean (Heather) Denekas, Darci (Jim) Gentry, Christina (Joe) Webb,  Jeremy (Katie) Shirk and Jason Shirk; as well as eight great-grandchildren.

His wife Jean preceded him in death in 2009 and son-in-law, Dennis Denekas.

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