Kirsch, Bernard

Kirsch, Bernard "Jack"

Bernard "Jack" Kirsch passed away peacefully at Berkley Square in Hamilton, Ohio on June 5, 2023. He was born on March 5, 1926 in Hamilton, Ohio to Bernard and Ethyl (Bacon) Kirsch. Jack married Edith Anness on October 4, 1952. Together they had seven children-Theresa, Joseph, Mary (Roger), Robert (Donna), John (Kim), Jane, and Paul.

Jack leaves ten grandchildren-Matthew (Emily), Carley, Benjamin, Jaclyn (Alonzo), Nicholas (Stephanie), Jonathan, Logan, Jasmine, Jesse, and Jackson. In addition, he has three great grandchildren-Graham, Eli, and Christopher. He was preceded in death by his wife Edith, both his parents as well as his siblings, LaVerne Preston and David Michael Kirsch and his infant children Joseph and Paul. He had special relationships throughout his life with a broad range of aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews too numerous to mention. Throughout the entirety of his life, Jack was his family's rock, taking quiet pride in his family members' accomplishments.

Jack grew up in East Hamilton and attended St. Veronica Elementary School. He graduated in 1944 from Hamilton Catholic High School, where he was class president and a member of the football team.

Immediately upon graduation from high school, he volunteered for the United States Army. He served in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, including action in the Battle of the Bulge. He received several military honors and awards including the Combat Infantry Award and a Purple Heart.

He attended the University of Dayton under the GI Bill and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He was very grateful for his education and often referred to the GI bill as one of the most transformational programs in US history.

After graduation, he began work as the Chief Deputy Butler County Engineer. In 1958, he became Public Works Director for the City of Hamilton. After several appointments as acting City Manager, he served as City Manager for eight years until his retirement in 1983.

Jack was known throughout his professional career for his vision and perseverance, as well as his ability to get things accomplished while bringing together diverse points of view. His work (along with many others, as he would always state) was critical in the completion of the High Street underpass which is named in his honor. Additionally, he was a key player in the construction of the Greenup Hydroelectric Plant, Columbia Bridge, Bypass Ohio 4, and the Butler County Regional Highway and many other transformational if less visible improvements to the community.

This vision was also reflected in the establishment of the Hamilton Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) by Jack and other community leaders. This was the initial step in city involvement in economic development activities which paved the way for the transition of Hamilton from its industrial roots.

He was the "engineer's engineer" and was dedicated to his profession. His work extended well beyond Hamilton. He was a proud life member of the American and Ohio Public Works Associations (serving as President of Ohio) and the National and Ohio Society of Professional Engineers.

Although he always deferred credit to others, his accomplishments were repeatedly recognized by the community. He is a member of the Junior Achievement Butler Warren Business Hall of Fame. In 2021, the City of Hamilton named its "Passion for Hamilton" Employee Award in his honor. This is the highest honor the city bestows on its employees and reflects Jack's respect for all city team members.

Outside of the pride he had in his work and family, he was a contributor to the broader community. His community involvement included founding member and Board President of St. Raphael Social Service Center, Mercy Hospital Board of Trustees, Hamilton Exchange Club, Hamilton Records Commission, and many others.

He was a parishioner of St. Veronica Catholic Church and later St. Peter in Chains where he was an active member for over 60 years. He served in multiple leadership positions including President of the Education Commission, Finance Committee, and Chairman of a major fund drive. His community service resulted in his induction in the Badin High School Hall of Honor and being named as the 1991 Citizen of the Year by the Knights of Columbus.

Friendships were important to Jack, and he nurtured them with a vast group, with several lasting a lifetime. He leaves behind friends too numerous to mention. He was involved in several Hamilton social organizations including Knights of Columbus, Big Forty Club, Monkey Mutual Aid Society, and the VFW.

After his retirement, Jack became a compassionate caregiver for his mother, his wife, and others. He also pursued several hobbies including gardening, golf, and genealogy. He was able to golf until age 93 and cherished time on the course with his friends more than the game itself – although he was able to state that he "shot his age." He was an accomplished genealogist, tracing back parts of his family for 1,000 years and enjoyed helping others locate their roots.

Jack's passion, humility, honesty, and work ethic made him beloved by his schoolmates, co-workers, friends, and family. He took pride in his humble beginnings and roots in East Hamilton and was the epitome of the Greatest Generation. A person's background or status were irrelevant to Jack - it was about who you were as a person. He made everyone feel comfortable and welcome.

The family wishes to thank his caregivers at Berkeley, especially during his final days.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, June 9, 2023 at St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church, Ridgelawn Ave. at Liberty St., Hamilton, Ohio 45013 with Father Rick Walling, celebrant. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 N. W. Washington Blvd., Hamilton, Ohio, 45013 and from 9:15 a.m. until time of the Mass at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Kirsch Family Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation, 319 N. Third St., Hamilton, Ohio 45013, or St. Vincent de Paul, c/o St. Peter Church, 382 Liberty Ave., Hamilton, Ohio 45013. Online condolences are available at

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