Mr. Kirt W. Weakman 46 was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away on April 21, 2019, at Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This followed a valiant two year battle with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer.
In Rochester, Kirt William Weakman was born on Oct. 19, 1972. He was a treasured son of William F. “Bill” and Sherry L. Autrey Weakman. Growing up as the second of three Weakman children, Kirt shared his childhood with an older sister Val and a younger brother Kevin. He was a 10-year member of Fulton County 4-H annually showing goats and displaying projects in electrical competition. Occasionally he showed poultry. He was a member of the Future Farmers of America during his high school years. He graduated from Rochester High School with his class in 1991.
To pursue his life dream of becoming an engineer with a blend of technology, Kirt continued his education at Purdue University. In 1996 as a proud Boiler, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and technology. Kirt returned to Purdue to earn his masters and was awarded this distinction in 2006.
Kirt met his wife to be in the spring of 1995 at a casual gathering with friends at Purdue, as she celebrated her 18th birthday. After a few years of courtship and Jessica’s graduation from Ball State, they married on Sept. 4, 1999. The scene of the wedding took place at West Point, near the Purdue campus at Jessica’s family, the Prien home. They enjoyed nearly 24 years of life’s adventures. From their union came three beautiful daughters: Quinn, Ellie, and Cora. Not many men were as lucky as Kirt to always be surrounded by four gorgeous women.
Without a doubt, he was a man of many talents, an array of intellectual gifts with the ability to think beyond the box while tapping into his amazing imagination. In 2001 Kirt accepted an engineering position with Whirlpool in St. Joseph, Mich. He wrote software for many of their appliances. Over the years he collaborated with a childhood buddy Rex Robison, employing Rex’s thoughts to write software programs for digital linear measurement systems. In 2014 his technical knowledge and software designs vaulted him to the distinction of “Best in Show.” Brewmaster Kirt prevailed over 800 brewers at the Upper Mississippi Mash Out, known then as a force to be reckoned with, in the world of brewing. In 2012 he accepted a position with GE aviation writing software for electronic control systems in commercial aircraft. He maintained that job until he became permanently disabled in 2017.
During Kirt Weakman’s post-Purdue years, he purchased his first of many Volkswagen’s. The first was a yellow 1971 Beetle. He completely dismantled the engine then rebuilt it, providing Jess with a car for transportation during her collegian years. He went on to purchase others creating custom conversions that fit the needs of his growing family. Later, they added a pop-up camper towed behind their van. A favorite destination for camping with fun in the sun and on the water was Sleeping Bear Dunes. Kirt enjoyed taking his family camping while enjoying Michigan’s many festivals.
As an outdoorsman, Kirt introduced the family to kayaking. It became an important component of their camping experiences. Even with the challenges of his illness, Kirt maintained a good quality of life. To relax he could be seen trekking around his property with one of his three bright orange Stihl chainsaws. Kirt and Jess were members of the Buses by the Beach philanthropic group. They shared a common interest of loving camping with their converted VW vans while generating capital to contribute to the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.
Left to cherish Kirt’s memory are his wife Jessica; 3 daughters: Quinn Alaura Weakman, Elise Amelia “Ellie” Weakman, and Cora Edith Weakman, all at home; his father William F. “Bill” Weakman; brother Kevin Weakman and wife Emily, all of Rochester; a sister Valerie Compton and husband David of Ellettsville; and his loving feline companion Wasabi, the black domestic long-haired kitty.
Preceding Kirt in death is his mother Sherry on May 31, 2000, and Shyla, his 16-year-old Lab-Shepherd blend.
A celebration of the life of Mr. Kirt Weakman will be at 2 p.m., May 10, in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th Street, Rochester. His family will receive friends from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A time of sharing will be at 2 p.m.
Preferred memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to the charity group, Buses by the Beach at www.busesbythebeach.org or envelopes are available at the funeral home.