Biography: 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.