Ruth M. Kirk, former state delegate, dies at 81

Ruth M. Kirk, a former state delegate who served West Baltimore for 28 years, has died, city officials said Friday evening.

Kirk, 81, who was born in Baltimore, represented the 44th District from 1983 until this past January. Her seven terms ended when she lost to Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. last fall.

"She was a tireless advocate for the neighborhoods she served, and dedicated herself to strong and thoughtful constituent service," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. "Ruth was particularly engaged and helpful addressing the issues that affect low-income families and seniors in Baltimore. She will be missed greatly by me, my colleagues at City Hall and very much by the citizens of the 44th District."

As a state delegate, Kirk served on the Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, the State Commission on Neighborhoods and the Advisory Council on Offender Employment Coordination, among other panels.

She also held numerous positions in the community, including a stint on the board of directors for Meals on Wheels.

"Del. Kirk was a longtime state legislator who spent nearly three decades working to improve the lives of countless Baltimoreans, leaving an indelible mark on her beloved City of Baltimore along the way," Baltimore City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young said in a statement.