Donald Alan Dirks, 87, of Horseshoe Bay died Oct. 26, 2012. He was born on June 17, 1925, to Evert O. "E.O." and Emma Dirks in Alton, Ill.
His father was a Presbyterian minister and served in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin so the family moved around a lot. He graduated from school in Galesville, Wis., in 1942. He went to a vocational school in Eau Claire, Wis., and LaCrosse, Wis., and enlisted in the Army in October 1944.
He was sent to Fort Knox for tank school. In March 1945 he got on the Queen Elizabeth and got off in Scotland. He was part of the Army’s Third Armored Division serving honorably in World War II. He got back to the United States in 1946. In August 1950, he was diagnosed with polio and spent the next nine months at Elizabeth Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis. After leaving Sister Kenny, he went to Eau Claire and enrolled in vocational school taking bookkeeping.
He met his wife Lorraine in 1951 through a friend who was a patient at the Swedish Hospital rehab center where she was working. Their first date was on Halloween weekend. They married June 7, 1952, at the Methodist Church in West Concord, Minn., where his wife’s family lived until she was 11.
They returned to Eau Claire where they set up housekeeping. Their first apartment was a two-room trailer without plumbing. They had an icebox with ice that was replaced every other day. Their bathroom was across the street. They were there a couple of months and then moved into an apartment. From there they moved to Minneapolis where he had a job and his daughter was born. They were there about a year and then moved back to Chippewa Falls, Wis., where they remained until 1978 when they moved to Texas.
All three sons were born in Chippewa Falls. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June with a great party. He was an active member of the St. Andrew Presbyterian Church of Marble Falls for 34 years. He was active in the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star in Marble Falls and Central Texas. The couple served as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron three different times. He was always active in the Presbyterian Church. He was installed as an Elder and served in both Chippewa Falls and Marble Falls. He served as moderator of Chippewa Presbytery, and on several Synod committees until they moved to Texas. He was a Cub Scout pack leader, was active in Boy Scouts and received the Order of the Arrow. He walked with a cane until 1990 when he got his first electric cart. The cart allowed him to keep up with his wife.
He became ill on Oct. 20 with bronchial asthma. He entered Scott & White Hospital-Llano Oct. 25 and died the next morning. Now he can run and dance without his brace. In addition to his wife, survivors include daughter Debbie and husband Darby Reid of Spring Branch; sons Daryl of Spring Branch and Jon and wife, Elaine, of Jacksonville, Fla.; grandchildren Matthew Reid, Michael Dirks, Dale Dirks, Andrea Dirks and Rachel Dirks; great-grandchildren Hunter Reid, Kendall Reid, Joshua, Jacob and Emma Dirks, and Dylon Dirks; sister Charlotte Griffin and husband Ronald; and sister-in-law Lea Dirks. He was preceded in death by his parents; son James; and brothers Richard and Robert.
A memorial service was Oct. 29 St. Andrew Presbyterian Church with the Rev. John Brantley officiating.
Memorials may be made to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church or Presbyterian Children’s Home, 4407 Bee Cave Road, Suite 520, Austin, TX 78746.
Condolences may be offered at www.clementswilcoxfuneralhome.com.