Cover photo for Samuel "Sam" Kirsch's Obituary
Samuel "Sam" Kirsch Profile Photo

Samuel "Sam" Kirsch

June 27, 1929 — February 11, 2024

Gulfport

Samuel "Sam" Kirsch

Samuel Kirsch “Sam” gained his eternal rest on Sunday, February 11, 2024, in Gulfport, MS at the age of 94.  Sam will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, love for family and always lending a helping hand.  To know him was to love him and the many great memories he leaves behind are a testament to who he was.

Sam was born on June 27, 1929 to Peter and Melder Kirsch in Burbank, California.  He was reared in Pueblo, Colorado where he attended Hinsdale Elementary School through the 8th grade and completed on year at Centennial High School.

At age 15, he became a welder’s assistant for a year and then a plumber’s apprentice during the following year.

On June 27, 1946, Sam’s 17th birthday, he joined the U.S. Navy and completed his boot camp training in San Diego, California.  Having the proper background experience, he was placed with the Seabees at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme, California, where he completed four weeks of carpentry schooling.  During this time, he noted that the young guys were filling slots that led to relieving older Seabees, who were being discharged after World War II.

Sam’s first overseas assignment was at Guam for six weeks before being stationed at Calicoan, Samar in the Philippines for six months with a primary duty of repairing and maintaining the water pipeline across the island.  While concentration on his tasks, he had to be cautious of the Philippine farmers who had incurred the habit of shooting holes in the pipe in order to irrigate their fields.

Sam’s next duty assignment was with the U.S. Naval Air Station at Sangley Point in the Philippines before being transferred back stateside in June 1949.  He returned to Guam, and was posted with the 103rd Seabees Mobile Construction Battalion for a year.   

He returned stateside once more for three years during which he served in active reserve duty with the Navy Reserve Augmentation Unity.  While in his hometown and in the reserves, Sam took additional schooling in plumbing and received his journeyman’s plumbing license in 1952 and master’s license in 1953.

In 1954, Sam was recalled to active duty and was stationed in the Caribbean at Antiqua.  Achieving rank of E-6, he was transferred to Roosevelt Road Naval Station at Ceiba, Puerto Rico, where he was in charge if refurbishing dependent housing units.  Following this assignment Sam was sent to Blackbushe, England as the utilities supervisor at the U.S. Navy operations base.  In 1956, he was transferred to Malta while performing as a utilities advisor at the USN FASRON station. 

In 1959 Sam was promoted to chief (E-7) before returning to Port Hueneme, California where he taught the plumbing phase of the Seabee curriculum.  In 1964 he was sent to Danang, Vietnam with Bravo Co., where he served as naval chief.  In 1966 he was part of the group that opened the Seabee Base Training Unit in Gulfport, Mississippi.  During this interim Sam was a mobile instructor, providing training at carious Coast Fuard stations throughout the Southern states.

In 1968, he returned to Vietnam to supervise the airstrip and runway construction for the U.S. Marines.   In 1970 Sam was sent back to the states, based again at the Seabee Construction Battalion in Gulfport, Mississippi.

He retired from the military in April 1972 and went on to his second occupation as an instructor with the Jefferson Davis Junior College, which later became the current Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  He opened and conducted the first course in air conditioning.  During this 20-year period Sam worked in multiple departments, one of them as director of the evening college. 

While active with the VFW Post 2434 in Biloxi, Mississippi, Sam rode as Uncle Sam on several occasions and was proud of his stars and stripes outfit because he had taken time to sew it himself.

In 2015, it didn’t take much for Sam to choose Gulfport, Mississippi as his permanent retirement at the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

Sam also enjoyed Bingo, country western movies, music and loved to dance.  He was a Ham Radio operator, member of DAV, Elks Lodge 606 and the VFW.  

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Nell Kirsch; son Allan Kirsch; siblings: Leo Kirsch, Glen Kirsch and grandson, Eric Kirsch.

Sam is survived by his children; Trudy Kirsch, Samuel Kirsch, II (Debbie); stepdaughter, Cindy Witt; grandchildren: Stacy Witt (Joseph), Aaron Zander (Lisa), Katie Kirsch (Fernando), Kimberly Monroe (Mike), Samuel Kirsch, III, Allan Kirsch, II; great grandchildren: Olivia Monroe, Henry Monroe, Brin Kirsch, Castille Cox, Zander Kirsch; brother Bob Kirsch; and his beloved fur baby, Bentley.

Special thank for all the love and support from: Notre Dame Hospice, Kayla, Krista, Cheryl, Summer, Karlie and Cindy; Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Gulfport, MS, Bubba Lang; Handsboro United Methodist Church, Pastor John McKay; Roberta Iversen and Margie Hadden; and Joseph Hanna for selflessness compassion, and generosity day in and day out.

Funeral Services will be at 3:00 PM Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Handsboro United Methodist Church, with visitation starting at 2:30 PM.  A reception will follow at the church.  A private burial will take place at Biloxi National Cemetery, Biloxi, Mississippi. Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport, is honored to serve the Kirsch family.

In lieu if flowers, the family requests donations be made to Handsboro United Methodist Church, 2333 Demaret Drive, Gulfport, MS 39507.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Samuel "Sam" Kirsch, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 17, 2024

2:30 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Handsboro United Methodist Church

2333 Demaret Dr., Gulfport, MS 39507

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Handsboro United Methodist Church

2333 Demaret Dr., Gulfport, MS 39507

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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