ADELBERT KIRK SR., known to friends and family as Duke, was born in Camden on October 5, 1918 to William H. Kirk and his wife, the former Nellie Apgar Hinkson. The family, which then included older siblings William H. Jr., Thomas, and Harriet, lived at 843 Grant Street in North Camden when the Census was taken in 1920. By April of 1930 the family had moved to 908 North 9th Street, and five more children had joined the family, Archibald, Nellie, Alberta, Mary, and Marvin. Two more children came after-

wards, Ina May in December of 1930 and Franklin in 1937. Sadly, Harriet and Franklin died in childhood.  

Young Duke Kirk attended schools in Camden through the 7th grade and then, like the majority of boys of his era, went to work. By the end of the 1930s his parents had moved to 1120 North 17th Street in Cramer Hill.

On September 30, 1940 Duke Kirk enlisted in the United States Army Reserve, serving with the 112th Field Artillery Regiment which was based in Camden. The unit was called to active duty on January 27, 1941 as the United States activated its reserve Army units in response to the growing tensions with Japan and the ongoing war in Europe. After serving in the South Pacific he returned to Camden after the war. The October 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory show him living at 832 Birch Street in North Camden.. 

Duke Kirk was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on November 16, 1956 and reported for duty the same day. He was assigned to Engine Company 3 at 1813 Broadway

Duke Kirk had moved to 2029 Westminster Street in East Camden's McGuire Gardens public housing project by the fall of 1959. In later years he lived at 1036 Bergen Avenue in Cramer Hill.  

After 25 years of distinguished service, Duke Kirk retired on December 1, 1981. He was last a resident of Williamstown, New Jersey where he passed away on June 30, 1989.

His son, Adelbert Kirk Jr., known to one and all as Joe Kirk, followed his father into the Camden Fire Department on January 8, 1968. Joe Kirk served for over 32 years before retiring on April 1, 2000. 

Engine Company 3 and the 3rd Battalion in quarters, Broadway & Ferry Avenue, South Camden. 1956.

Left to right, standing: Chief Joseph Guarino, Fireman John Chudzinski, Captain Edward Tyszko, Fireman Ernest Tartaglia, Fireman Santo DiMaggio; Kneeling: Fireman Adelbert "Duke" Kirk, Fireman Angelo Borghero.