President Bradley Wayne Kirk, a recently called mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away early Wednesday morning. The Church released the following statement, sharing their condolences to the Kirk family and the people President Kirk served with.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Bradley Wayne Kirk, president of the Philippines Naga Mission. Early Monday morning, President Kirk had a stroke at home and was taken to the hospital. He passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 61. He and his wife, Shirley, are from Clovis, California and had been serving since July 2019. They have three children. We call upon people of faith to join us in praying for the comfort and well-being of the Kirk family at this difficult time. We also pray for the missionaries who will miss this wonderful and capable leader.
The Kirk family released this message:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of our father, husband, grandfather, brother, and uncle. We find comfort that he passed while doing what he loved — serving the Lord in a place dear to his heart amongst a people he loved, with his lifelong sweetheart by his side.
Our family has been overwhelmed with the public and private outpouring of the positive impact he has left on so many people. Although his time in Naga was short, he felt a deep love and appreciation for the missionaries.
His love for family, music, the outdoors, and our Savior Jesus Christ will never be forgotten. We await the day of our joyful reunion.
Family, friends, and others took to social media to share their feelings. The words of his wife Shirley, who served alongside him in Naga, shared updates during the trying time. According to Sister Kirk, President Kirk suffered a stroke and massive brain bleed before 3 a.m. on Monday. There was no hope for recovery and the family made a plan to unhook President Kirk from his ventilator on Wednesday when his son arrived if he had not passed by then.
“He was a healthy and happy man when we arrived in Naga. We don’t understand how or why this happened, especially so early in our assignment,” Sister Kirk wrote. “It was Brad’s dream to take me to meet the happy people of the Philippines. It was our dream to serve a senior mission together. We loved Naga and the beautiful surrounding countryside (but not so much the traffic). We love these missionaries we serve with and are saddened to leave in these circumstances.”
“We know God knows the end from the beginning. We know mortality is just a moment in our spiritual existence and we look forward to a happy reunion together. We also know it doesn’t matter where you’re living when your mortal life is over because there are wonderful people everywhere.”
Lindy Mattice, President Kirk’s daughter shared, “Dad will pass as a servant of the Lord, called by the Prophet of God. He will pass with his faithful companion and our most cherished mother by his side. He will pass in the country that brought him so much joy and a people that he loved so deeply. He will pass with honor, a life dedicated to hard work and service.”
Sister Kirk and her son are currently making preparations to leave Naga with President Kirk’s body, with a funeral being planned int he near future in California.
Janet Kirk, President Kirk’s sister-in-law, also shared some of her thoughts online, along with some of her favorite photographs.
“My dear, beloved brother in law, Brad Kirk, is on life support in the Philipines after serving only 2 months as a Mission President in Naga. There are no words to describe the suckerpunch to the heart this has been as we try to imagine the world without the sparkle of life and love he brought to it. Curious, funny, creative, talented musician and music lover, giving, faithful to God and his church, workaholic but always loved family first, adventurerer and Lord’s servant. I was the recipient of his unique ability to love unconditionally and will miss him desperately.”
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.