Reverend Robert B. Kirtland

February 03, 2006 

Reverend Robert B. Kirtland

February 03, 2006 

Obituary for Reverend Robert B. Kirtland

?Robert B. Kirtland, a Roman Catholic Priest and writer, passed away Sunday February 3, 2008 at the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center at age 78.? Robert was born July 9, 1929 in Toledo, Ohio to Harry B. Kirtland and Norah (Redley) Kirtland.? He was raised in the Old West End and spent many summers with his mother visiting family in the Boston area while his father managed his law practice and business interests. Robert became fluent in French through conversation with his mother and later mastered Latin and German as well. He became an avid student of history at a young age and maintained that interest throughout his life. After graduating from Central Catholic High School he attended Providence College in Rhode Island before entering the seminary. He studied at St. Meinard,? St. Peter,? and Mount St. Mary Seminaries before being ordained and celebrating his first mass at his childhood parish, Rosary Cathedral.? Roberts' first parish assignment was at St. Joseph's Maumee, followed by Blessed Sacrament where he met his mentor, the late Msg. James J. O'Toole, and his longtime friend, the late Rev. Donald Hunter.? After taking a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan with an emphasis in constitutional law, Father was appointed the catholic chaplain at the University of Toledo, where he forged enduring friendships with Cindy Bauer Rimmelin and Stephen Goldman. In addition to his work on behalf of the University Interfaith Council, Father formed a parish for students and faculty which later became known as Corpus Christi parish. Later parish assignments included St. Clements where he assisted his close friend Rev. Jim Auth, and St. Rose in Perrysburg.? At every parish he provided support and encouragement for serious students. He was noted throughout his career for his intellectual yet sensible and witty homilies. Father's? diocesan work also included consultation regarding medical ethics issues for the catholic hospitals, and frequent contributions to the Catholic Chronicle.? Father shared his impressive knowledge of English common law and constitutional history as an instructor at the University of Toledo College of Law. He used his? knowledge of the law unsparingly to advocate for the city's poor who lacked adequate housing.? Later in life he pursued his passion for writing as a wine columnist and restaurant critic for the Toledo Blade. Father's love of language and his wide range of intellectual interests made him a delightful conversationalist.? His charm and wit will be missed by many, most notably his dear friends Cindy and Brock Rimmelin and their daughters Dodie, Mikey and Lizzie, and Stephen Goldman and Jackie Boney.? Father was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by niece Sarah Kirtland. ? The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 AM Thursday at Blessed Sacrament Church by the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair.? The homilist will be the Reverend James E. Auth.? Friends will be received from 2-8 PM Wednesday at the Ansberg-West Funeral Home, 3000 Sylvania Avenue as well as at Blessed Sacrament Church after 8:45 AM on Thursday.

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