1925 – 2012
Kirk R Stetson was born September 26, 1925 in Rochester, New York, where his father Paul was an engineer at Kodak and mother Lois looked after the family. He grew up involved in Soap Box Derby racing, Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout) and church life.
He became an engineering student in 1943, was in the Naval ROTC, graduated in 1945 and was commissioned in the Navy where he served in the Pacific until 1946. At this time Kirk met the love of his life and future wife of 63 years, Burnice Stetson.
Kirk taught mathmatics from 1946 to 1948 at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. During this time he became interested in medicine. In 1949 Kirk and Bunni were married and he entered the University of Rochester Medical School, graduating in1953. Daughter Charlinda was born in 1952 and sons Eric in 1954 and Lorrin in 1957.
After internship Kirk and Bunni signed up to serve on a mission station in Rhodesia, Africa, where he ran the hospital at Mt. Selinda from 1956 to 1973. During this time he positively affected the lives of thousands of Africans, both physically and spititually. They are lovingly remembered by these people to this day.
After returning to the USA in 1973, Kirk set up a medical practice in Flagstaff, AZ, where they lived until retiring to Cottonwood, AZ in 1992. In retirement, serving others remained his life’s work and they returned to Africa for two years. Kirk worked with Indian Health Services in Arizona, and in Cottonwood at the free clinic at Old Town Mission.
After letting his medical license go, he joined Gideon Bibles and Habitat for Humanity until he fully retired in 2004. Life remained busy and full. Throughout his fulfilling life his Christian faith and his drive to help others have been his guiding lights.