ELKHART — Herbert “Herb” L. Kirts, 75, passed away peacefully at 5 a.m. Tuesday at his home. He died from a rare form of Parkinsons disease, known as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).
He was born Jan. 9, 1938, in Kokomo, to Melvin and Mary (Burton) Kirts.
He graduated from Concord High School in 1956. Herb served in the National Guard as a motor sergeant. He was a tool and die maker, race car driver and a private pilot. He raced quarter midgets, super modified and late models for many years. He worked for 26 years at Vincent Bach as chief engineer, developing several things for the industry including freeze bending, little links and the k-valve. Herb at his death was the owner of Micro Machine Works Inc. and Fenders Inc.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a toddler brother; a brother, Thomas L. Kirts; and two uncles.
He married Diane Leers in Elkhart, Jan. 11, 1964. She survives along with three sons, Timothy (Mindy) Kirts of Elkhart, Todd (Jodi) Kirts of Bristol and Troy Kirts of Osceola; one precious grandson, Cameron; two brothers, Dan (Nancy) Kirts of Bristol and Jerry Kirts of Elkhart; a sister, Pat Harris of Elkhart; and Aunt Ann of Elkhart.
He will be greatly missed by his two pet Yorkies, Tiffy and Tia. Herb was an avid fan of NASCAR. He enjoyed traveling in his motor home, spending time in Traverse City, Mich. and Florida, and especially spending time on the Upper St. Joe River. If there was something he couldn’t fix, it was time to throw it away.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to his tireless caregivers from Compassionate Caregivers, Freida, Everett, Rita and Tammy and Paula and Bethany from Hospice.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Walley-Mills-Zimmerman Funeral Home, Elkhart, where a funeral service will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. The Rev. Wes Ellis, Herb’s friend and classmate from Newark Brethren Church in Newark, Ohio, will preside at the service.
Burial will follow in Rice Cemetery, Elkhart.
Memorials may be given to Cure PSP for which there is no known cause, treatment or cure, or to the Elkhart County Humane Society.