David Wirt

  • Born: January 27, 1940
  • Died: April 18, 2020
  • Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Tel. (269) 962-5527

Tribute & Message From The Family

David Bruce Wirt, age 80, of Kalamazoo, MI and formerly of Las Campanas, Santa Fe, NM passed away Saturday afternoon, April 18, 2020 at the Rose Arbor Hospice Residence in Kalamazoo. David was born in Battle Creek, MI on January 27, 1940, the son of Dr. George Howard and Hilda Elizabeth (Ethington) Wirt. He was raised in Climax, MI and was a 1957 graduate of Climax High School. David received his BBA from Western Michigan University in 1962 and continued to further his education at Michigan State University Graduate Study, 1963, the Columbia University Commercial Bank Management Program, 1971, and the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking, 1973- 1975.

David retired in 1998 as Executive Vice-President at the First of America Bank Corporation where he was responsible for entire affiliate bank performance. His other positions throughout his career included, President and CEO First of America Bank Wayne Oakland, Royal Oak, MI; Senior Vice-President and Director of Human Resources, First of America Bank Corp; Instructor, Central Michigan University School of Banking; Instructor, Northern Michigan School of Banking; and Director on thirty one First of America Corporation Affiliate Bank boards. 1972-1998. David also served with the American Bankers Association, The Bankers Round Table, and the Michigan Bankers Association.

David was generous with his time and charitable contributions as a humanitarian and philanthropist. His service included: Director, American Red Cross, Kalamazoo, MI; Director, Kalamazoo Civic Theater where he was Chairman Special Gifts and Capital Fund Campaign 1995; Advisory Board Director of The Salvation Army, Royal Oak, MI; Director of The Boys and Girls Club of Royal Oak, Royal Oak, MI; Chairman of the Board, Delta Dental Plan of Michigan, Okemos, MI; President, Kalamazoo Country Club, Kalamazoo, MI; President Kalamazoo Personnel Association, Kalamazoo, MI; Metro Director, Southwestern Michigan National Alliance of Business; Founding Trustee, Central Michigan University School of Banking; Director, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Santa Fe, NM; and Founding Member and Director, Santa Fe Community Foundation, Santa Fe, NM

David enjoyed golfing, fishing, reading and traveling. He and Stephanie traveled extensively to Europe, Africa, South America, Oceania, Central America, French Polynesia, Canada and the Caribbean.

David married the love of his life, Stephanie (McDaniel) Wirt in Kalamazoo, MI on June 22, 1973; she survives. He is also survived by his daughter, Krista (Dan) Higgason and granddaughter, Mackenzie Hinga; daughter, Kimberly (Andrew) Brylowski and grandson, Jacob and granddaughter, Natalie; step-son, J. Brian Wolf and granddaughters Haley Smith and Caitlin Driscoll and great-granddaughter, Giavanna Driscoll; step-daughter, Hilary Wolf Ward and granddaughters Grace Ward and Isabella Ward; sister, Jennifer (Jack) Phenis; and cousin like a brother, Michael Dean Wirt.

David was a star athlete at Climax Scotts High School. As a Climax Panther, he was a well noted star football back and baseball pitcher. He was once reported as being the biggest scoring, hardest driving, high school football athlete in the state tallying 41 points in a single game. Later David became a skilled golfer and was a participant in the annual Invitational tournaments at Kalamazoo Country Club. He was a member of Kalamazoo Country Club, Kalamazoo, MI, Birmingham Country Club, Birmingham, MI, Red Run Golf Club, Royal Oak, MI, The Club at Las Campanas, Santa Fe, NM, and Loch Lomond Golf Club, Luss, Scotland.

David's career at First National Bank and First of America Bank Corp. is a tale of success. He was hired out of college as personnel director at First National Bank of Kalamazoo and climbed the ladder with his own "bank of skills" to bank president at First of America Bank Wayne Oakland in Detroit and then on to Corporate Executive Vice President of First of America Bank Corp. where all of the affiliate banks reported to him . The recent words of his former boss and mentor James H, Duncan Sr.: "I could always depend on Dave to give unvarnished and straightforward advice and counsel. Without Dave's influence, neither First National or First of America could have been the fine banking organizations, that were founded and operated by the very best principles of their predecessors."

David would tell you that the best part of his life was spent living at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he retired with Stephanie in 1998 until illnesses began to take over his life. He battled against incurable disease with grace and courage for several years.

Interment will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery where a small graveside service will later take place to celebrate David's life. The family will also gather to spread remains at David's favorite fishing spot on the Jemez River in New Mexico. Memorial contributions may be made to The Kambly Living Center in Battle Creek, the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family or remembrances of David may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear Stephanie,
I am so sorry for your loss. Such a sad time. We miss you here in Las Campanas and you are in my thoughts.
With my sympathy,
Elva Busch

Posted by Elva Busch - Santa Fe, NM   May 25, 2020

Dear Stephanie,

Shirley and I were very saddened to learn of David's
passing. Though we haven't seen the two of you for a number
of years we have fond thoughts of you both.

I did not realize that David was a founding member of the
Santa Fe Community Foundation, which we believe has done
wonderful work and has had our support for many years.

With kindest thoughts,
Fred and Shirley

Posted by fred klinghoffer - Santa Fe, NM - Friend   May 22, 2020

Stephanie- I am so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for you and the rest of the family.

Posted by Sharon Bevier - Jenison, MI - Friend   May 02, 2020

I was saddened by Dave's passing. He was a really honest guy who gave me the biggest second chance of my life. After leaving FOA on a whim Dave let me come back with no negative words. I will forever be gratefull for his understanding. I hope his family finds peace in the fine life he led.

Posted by Rick Tupper - Waterford, MI - Coworker   April 28, 2020

Deepest sympathies to Stephanie and all of David's family. His "career" in humanitarian and philanthropic work was as excellent as was his paid career - straightforward, sincere, resourceful, committed - an outstanding member of our board of directors at the American Red Cross. I am so glad he got to enjoy extended world travels and life in New Mexico. What I didn't know about was his athleticism - things we don't know about someone when we meet them in midlife! Cherish the memories - they never leave.

Posted by MARILYN VINEYARD - PLAINWELL, MI - Friend   April 27, 2020

Stephanie, We were so sorry to hear of Dave's passing. Although our friendship in Kalamazoo was brief, we do remember you and Dave as such a lively young couple. We hope that the happy memories you shared will sustain you for the difficult days ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Kindfest regards,
Jack and Cheryl Simpson (formerly from Kalamazoo, Mi)

Posted by A friend   April 25, 2020

So sorry for your loss. What a nice guy he always was. The times we came to your house in Las Campanas, David was so nice and made sure everyone was having a great time. It was always so obvious how much Stephanie and David adored one another and such a blessing. I do believe God just received another angel. Rest in peach, sweet David.

Posted by Sandy Morey/Sanford - Houston, TX - Friend   April 25, 2020

So sorry to learn of Dave's passing. I have many fond memories of playing golf with Dave at Lake Doster. May God be with all the Family during this difficult time. Pls. feel free to contact me anytime. I would love to hear from any of you. Dave will be missed but not forgotten.

Posted by Virgil Williams - Plainwell, MI - Friend   April 25, 2020

Stephanie, I am so sorry, sending love and prayers

Posted by Rose Marchese - Friend   April 25, 2020

I have many great memories of Dave from back in the day.
Remember seeing Dave driving his elderly mother around the country side
in his M G with the top down, that was way cool. This is the way Dave was.

R I P Mr. Cool,

Leon Hayward

Posted by Leon Hayward - Vicksburg, MI - Classmate   April 24, 2020

We know you're at peace, David, and our memories will always comfort us as we miss you. You and Russ were friends since you were 16 and we're fortunate enough to enjoy that friendship into retirement. Godspeed, friend, and God Bless your family.

Posted by Russ and Chris Otterbine - Oldsmar, FL - Friend   April 24, 2020

So many found memories! You will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to all! Hugs and healing prayers.

Posted by Emily Anglin - Richland, MI - Family Friend   April 24, 2020

Our sincere condolences go out to the entire Wirt family. We are praying for all of you during this difficult time. God Bless!

Posted by Andrea & Richard Kennedy - Crown Point, IN - Family Friend   April 24, 2020

My Daddy, my Hero, I will miss you terribly. I love you to eternity and beyond.

Posted by Kimmy Brylowski - Kalamazoo, MI - Daughter   April 24, 2020

So sorry to hear of the passing of your dad, Krista.
I worked with him during my time at First of America in the 1980s. I remember him as a respected and admirable leader.
Prayers for you and your family as you say goodbye.

Posted by Terri Novaria - Portage, MI   April 24, 2020

So sorry to read about David. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Karol Priest Wiles
Would love to hear from you.

Posted by A friend   April 24, 2020

Sad to hear of Dave's passing. Mary Jo and I both have such fond memories of Dave and Stephanie. We were just reminiscing about our retreat to Santa Fe for Jim Duncans retirement. Dave was truly the best boss I had during my entire career in banking. Such fond memories.

Posted by A friend   April 23, 2020

So sad to hear of Dave's passing. He was a great friend and mentor. My sympathies and best wishes to all friends and family. Michael

Posted by Michael Lindley - Grand Rapids, MI - Coworker   April 23, 2020

My sympathy goes out to Steph and family on
the loss of Dave. He was a special friend and
I have many fond memories of our days in College at WMU and our career in banking.
While Dave is now at peace, he will surely be
missed. Rest in peace my friend.

Posted by Bill Cole - South Haven, MI   April 23, 2020