Illini Great Walt Kirk Passes Away
Dec. 14, 2012
Former Illinois basketball All-American Walton "Walt" Kirk passed away Dec. 12 in Dubuque, Iowa, following a battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Kirk was a 1945 consensus All-American for the Fighting Illini while also earning All-Big Ten honors. That season, he earned Illini MVP honors after leading the team in scoring. He was also named the UI Athlete of the Year. At the conclusion of the 1945 season, he entered the service before returning to Illinois for his senior season in 1947. Kirk went on to play three years in the NBA and later coached high school basketball in Illinois and Iowa, while serving as a long-time teacher and school administrator. His jersey No. 14 hangs at the Assembly Hall as part of the Fighting Illini Honored Jerseys.
Visitation is scheduled for Dec. 14 from 3-8 pm at the Egelhoff Siegert Casper Funeral Home (390 N. Grandview Ave) in Dubuque. A brief visitation on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church begins at 9:30 am, followed by a service at 10:30 am and burial with military honors at Linwood Cemetery in Dubuque. Kirk was born Sept. 3, 1924, in Mt. Vernon, Ill. He was 88 at the time of his death.