Charles Edward Kirsch, 83, a resident of Jupiter, Fla., died peacefully on Sept. 15, 2011, at his summer home in Harbor Springs.
He was born on Sept. 21, 1927, in Sturgis, Mich., to Guy and Flora Callender Kirsch. Chuck graduated from Western Military Academy and served in the U.S. Navy. He attended DePauw University and later was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Hillsdale College.
On June 22, 1957, he married Barbara Carls. From 1965 until the time of his retirement, Chuck was the CEO and president of the Kirsch Company, having worked his way through the drapery hardware company ranks from sales trainee to division manager, sales manager, and executive vice president.
Mr. Kirsch's philanthropic service extended to numerous organizations some of which included Jupiter Medical Center Foundation Board and the Hillsdale College Board of Trustees. He was the 1968 chair of Michigan's Republican Finance Committee and served as an officer of Loxahatchee Country Club and Klinger Lake Country Club.
Chuck had a passion for sailing and pursued his interest globally with his yacht, Scaramouche, culminating in a win of the 1974 Newport to Bermuda Race. His leadership in the sailing world included service to the U.S. Yacht Racing Union, the Ocean Racing Committee, the Admiral's Cup U.S. Team, and America's Cup campaigns.
Chuck was a member of the Harbor Springs Presbyterian Church, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, the Fraternal Order of Elks, Rotary International, Little Traverse Yacht Club, The Loxahatchee Club, and Birchwood Country Club.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs and at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor his memory make a donation to the Northern Michigan Regional Hospital Foundation or the Jupiter Medical Center Foundation.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; sister, Judy Kirsch Maze; children, Marti (Jack) Gillespie, Guy (Lynne) Kirsch, Kathy Kirsch, Lauri Kirsch, Amy (Chris) Hamlin, and Charles D. Kirsch; grandchildren, Jennifer (Robert) Harper, Becky (Nick) Schreiner, Matt McFarland, Erin (Joe) Snowden, Kelley Mulfinger, Amy Currier, Katey Mulfinger, Lauren Hamlin, Ben Gezon, and Aaron Hamlin.
Arrangements were handled by Schiller Funeral Home of Harbor Springs.