Justin Kirk Dickens died the evening of April 29 at Greencroft Goshen Health Care in the company of his wife, Marcay, and son, Michael. He was 81 and died from complications resulting from Lewy Body Syndrome.
Kirk was born Nov. 2, 1931, in Syracuse, N.Y. In 1943, his family moved to Los Angeles, Calif. to be closer to family. Kirk entered as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California in 1949 and joined the California National Guard. He served in the Korean War, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1952. He continued his education, eventually receiving a doctorate degree in nuclear physics in 1962 from USC. He and Marcay were married in December 1957.
Following completion of his doctorate degree, he accepted a postdoctoral appointment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory located near Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he spent his entire 40-year career. He published more than 200 papers in the field of nuclear physics. Kirk and Marcay stayed in Oak Ridge until the fall of 2007, when they moved to Greencroft to be closer to family and for Kirk’s progressing health issues. During his brief stay in Goshen, Kirk regularly attended Assembly Mennonite Church and enjoyed watching his grandson.
Kirk is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marcay (Jordan) of Goshen; his sister, Eve Dickens of Brooklyn, N.Y.; his son, Alan, of Somerville, Mass.; his son, Leonard, daughter-in-law, Katherine Rogers, and grandson, Alexander Dickens, all of Baltimore, Md.; his son, Steven, and son-in-law, Martin Moeller, of Washington, D.C.; and his son, Michael, daughter-in-law, Jeanne Liechty and grandson, Conrad Liechty, all of Goshen.
Kirk’s body has been donated to the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Medicine. His cremated remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The family requests any memorials be in the form of donations to the Oak Ridge Playhouse or the Parkinson’s Foundation.
A memorial service will take place June 1 at 11 a.m. at Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen.
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