Kirk Mason Bellows, age 94, of Branson, MO, was born in Havre MT, on May 8, 1923, to Lee Taylor Bellows and Mildred Mae (Sanders) Bellows.
He grew up as a hard-working farm boy in the Devil's Lake, ND area.
Kirk's college career at North Dakota State University was interrupted during WWII, when he
served for three years in combat campaigns in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines with the Army's 51Th Field Artillery Battalion.
He was a proud Golden Gloves State middleweight boxing champ, who also boxed for the Army.
Kirk returned to college after the service, graduating from NDSU in Agronomy in 1948. While there, he met his first wife Jeanne, of 20 years, who was the mother of his children.
From 1952-73, they raised their family in Topeka, KS, where Kirk established and operated Bellows Laundry Equipment and Service. They later divorced and Kirk moved to Colorado Springs, purchasing American Coin Meter, from which he retired in 1994.
The love of his life was his wife Rae Dene, who survives him. They spent many happy years together, travelling and enjoying family and friends. Kirk's farm-land toughness and stamina were what fueled his determination, at age 69, to ride his bicycle from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge to the beach in Charleston, South Carolina-- some 3,000 miles in just 30 days!
An avid golfer, Kirk enjoyed beating his age on the golf course and retired from the game, after shooting an 88 on his 89th birthday. He was an unparalleled story-teller, who was beloved by children, young and old.
Kirk will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered as a fun-loving, energetic, larger-than-life, force of nature by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife Rae Dene Bellows of Branson; daughters Kathy Gunderson of Overland Park, KS, and Karen Bellows of Topeka, KS; step-son Larry Hathaway (Yevette) of Farmington, NM; his three grandchildren Ben Blakely (Vanessa Robinson) of Topeka, KS; Laura Schroetlin (Curt) of Holyoke, CO; and Sarah. Bellows-Blakely (Clement Quinson) of Paris, France.
Kirk dearly loved his seven surviving nieces and nephews and their families, as well as his six step-grandchildren, and his many, many great-grandkids. He was predeceased by his two beloved younger sisters, Rita Lea (Bellows) Buerkett of Springfield, Il and Darleen (Bellows) Ferris of Knoxville, TN.
Thank you for showing us how to live life with true zest, Kirk. We'll miss you.
The family will receive friends from 9:00-10:00 AM Friday, October 20, 2017 at Greenlawn Funeral Home East.
Graveside services with full military honors will follow at 11:00 AM at Springfield National Cemetery.