He was the son of the late Alfred E. and Grace McBride Van Wirt and grandson of the late Florence Amor Van Wirt and the late Karl Ross McBride.
He is survived by his loving family; wife, Clara Van Wirt; three sons, Douglas Van Wirt and wife Sharon, Peter Vai* Wirt and wife Debbie, and Tom Van Wirt and wife Penny; seven grandchildren, three from Peter’s family, Stephanie and husband Hermes Ayala, Mike Van Wirt and Cadet Zoe Van Wirt, as well as four from Tom’s family, Raegan Van Wirt, Seth Van Wirt, Olivia Van Wirt and Ian Van Wirt.
He is also survived by sister, Cynthia and her husband Richard O’Connor; brother, Karl Van Wirt and his wife, Donna; another sister Priscilla and her husband David Sanderspree as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.
Al was graduated from Glens Falls High School as well as Clarkson University as a chemical engineer. He was employed by Union Carbide Chemical Co. (now Dow Chemical) for his whole career. He worked in Charleston, W.V., where he attended St. John’s Episcopal Church, and in Taft, where he attended St. Andrews Episcopal Mission and then Bible Center Church. After he retired he worked for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans and was a member of the Gideons International.
One of Al’s favorite ministries was Kairos International, which serves inmates at the NE Correctional Facility at Mt. City, Tenn., and he was active in visiting the prison routinely for several years.
He was most recently a member of Trinity Baptist Church of Jonesborough, Tenn. where he sang in the choir for many years. He was also an associate member of Bolens Creek Baptist Church Choir in Burnsville, N.C, near the cabin where he and his family spent summers. He was a member of the Cattail Homeowners Association as well as the Gideons of Burnsville, N.C. as well as Johnson City, Tenn. Gideons.
The family extends many thanks to the doctors and nurses who labored to help him over the years, especially Dr. F.A. Forbush and Dr. K. Krishnan, Kirn Pratt N.P. and their staffs.
Memorial services will be conducted 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home with Dr. Mark Harrod and Dr. Chris Morgan, Bolens Creek Baptist Church, Burnsville, N.C. officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday prior to the service.
Although flowers are welcome, in lieu of flowers a donation may be made to: Kairos International of Tennessee P.O. Box 50391 Knoxville, TN 37950-0391, or Gideons International P.O. Box 372 Mountain Home, TN 37684.
Condolences may be sent to the Van Wirt family online at www.dillow-taylor.com.
Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, Tenn., in charge of arrangements.
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