John Anderson Quirk died at his home in Hastings, Nebraska on April 11, 2021. John was born on June 11, 1951 in Hastings, Nebraska and was the son of John P. and Helen (Anderson) Quirk.
He attended Hastings Public Schools and graduated from Hastings High School in 1969. He then attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics in 1973.
After college, John returned to Hastings to serve as President of Quirk Land & Cattle Co., a position he held until his death. Quirk Land & Cattle Co. has operations in Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, and Arkansas. He was also a founding member and served as the executive secretary of the Amerifax Cattle Association, which served to promote the Amerifax breed (a cross between Angus and Beef Friesian).
He was an active member and officer of the board of directors of the Hastings Community Foundation and the Adams County Historical Society for more than 20 years, and was a founding member of the Ardyce Bohlke Torch Club. He also served on the Nebraska Rural Development Commission from 1991 to 2003 and was involved in numerous other statewide public service boards.
John was passionate about improving educational opportunities for others. He served on the school board for District 15 Elementary School from 1991 to 2007, and took great pride in integrating computers in the curriculum throughout the 1990s to keep the six-room school on the cutting edge of emerging technology. He also served on the Adams Central Schools Foundation from 2001 until his death.
John became active in politics in high school and remained involved throughout his life. He was the Treasurer of the Adams County Democrats for 44 years. And politics is what brought John and Deb Hardin together. In 1976, John was volunteering for the presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter and Deb was working on a local city council campaign. She contacted him for advice in running the campaign. Both of their candidates won in the fall--hers by 7 votes. John and Deb were engaged on 7/7/77, and were married in December of that year.
Beyond his professional pursuits and community service, John enjoyed working in the yard around his childhood home near Heartwell Park, where he returned to live the final year of his life.
John is survived by his wife, Deb Hardin Quirk of Hastings; son Andrew Robert (Rob) Quirk of Brooklyn, New York; sister and brother-in-law, Mary Quirk and James Anderson of Minneapolis, Minnesota; cousin Marilyn Hawkinson Obregón of Coronado, California; sister-in-law Su (Hardin) Ryden, and her husband Jerome Ryden of Aurora, Colorado; brother-in-law Mike Hardin and his wife Margaret Hardin of Aurora, Colorado; nephews Erik Anderson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Armand Ryden of Los Angeles, California, and Wesley Hardin of Parker, Colorado; and nieces Lori (Delay) Homstad of Springdale, Arkansas, Lisa (Hardin) Van Bramer of Centennial, Colorado, and Julie Hardin of Nashville, Tennessee.
Services will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, July 10, 2021, at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings, Nebraska with Pastor Joel Remmers officiating. Burial will be at Parkview Cemetery. DeWitt Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Memorials may be directed to the Hastings Community Foundation or the Adams County Historical Society.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Anderson Quirk, please visit our floral store.