Kirk Owen Bowdridge

Kirk Owen Bowdridge

Kirk was born August 7‚ 1945‚ in Honolulu and moved to Newberry Springs‚ California‚ when he was five. There he grew up raising ‘chicks’ for Zacky Farms and attending school in Barstow. He played clarinet‚ baseball and wrestled in high school.

After graduation from Barstow High in 1965‚ Kirk went to work for the phone company. He started out as a collector and worked his way up to special service tech. He enjoyed going to classes and training to further his knowledge.

In 1979‚ he was transferred to their office in Big Bear Lake‚ where his life would change forever! He met and married his wife‚ ‘Di‚’ and‚ in 1981‚ he answered an ad for ‘Volunteer Firefighters Wanted.’ After he interviewed‚ we had to be interviewed together. His being a volunteer firefighter would affect both our lives. They wanted to make sure I supported him and would be OK with him responding to calls all hours of the day or night. After passing the written and agility tests‚ there was one thing left: carrying hose running up the street to the top of the hill and back in an allotted time. All the applicants and volunteers lined the street cheering him on – he MADE IT!

Kirk took every class the fire department offered – First Responder‚ CPR‚ EMT I&II‚ Apparatus Operator A&B. He quickly became an engineer and took the fire officer and instructor certification courses. He passed the captain’s exam and attended fire science and paramedic classes at Crafton College. He took vacation time and paid for HAZMAT classes‚ becoming the only HAZMAT special tech in the area. In 1989‚ BBC Fire Department was going full-time. At age 44‚ with 22 years with the phone company‚ Kirk made a life-changing decision to apply for engineer. On June 12‚ 1989‚ Engineer Bowdridge with ‘C’ shift joined the full-time department.

Kirk was an incredible husband‚ family man‚ friend‚ and mentor. He had an infectious laugh and a smile that would light up a room. He loved to cook‚ ride his Fat Boy‚ work out‚ walk‚ work fire safety at Cal Speedway‚ organize and chair fundraisers‚ participate in musters and community campaigns‚ house foreign exchange students for Rotary‚ play Santa for the tree lighting ceremony and the firemen’s Christmas dinner‚ umpire Little League and slo-pitch tournaments‚ and give his brother-in-law Dave a run for his money in pranks.

Kirk died from complications from a job-related heart attack. He gave in death‚ as he did in life‚ by being an organ donor. We miss him enormously but are so blessed to have had him in our lives.