ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in loving memory of Kirk Casselman. Considering the pandemic, no formal memorial has yet been planned to celebrate Kirk. We hope this can be a space for friends and family to share any photos, memories, or tributes, and celebrate Kirk's joyful life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who wish to express sympathy consider making a donation to Cornerstones, a nonprofit dedicated to architectural and community preservation in New Mexico.

You can find the long form obituary in the "life" section.
Posted by Linda Andreae on May 10, 2021
How thoughtfully written about remarkable Kirk,
his diligent work, challenges, varied interest and major accomplishments (including his understanding and work for alternative energies)
Contributions to many .. an incredible life lived in spite of most difficult challenges met by Louise and Kirk, a most caring and loving team who inspire us All. With Gratitude for You and your dear Family showing us the way❤️ Peace
“He lived he loved he laughed he left and the World will never be the same”. James Joyce
Posted by a mcnaughton on May 9, 2021
What a wonderful tribute to a man of many wonders. Our times with Kirk were ones of joy, laughter and his interest in us and our lives demonstrated his love for life. He took the lemons of life and made the most of them; never complaining, pushing himself with discipline and hope that he could do better and he did.
God rest his soul and bring comfort to the hearts of his beloved Louise, Tyler and Kate.
Angela & Larry
Posted by David Bueschel on May 6, 2021
We met Kirk and Louise when Betsy and I moved to Santa Fe in 2007. We clicked. Kirk and I were business consultants, among other common interests. We worked together to guide strategy and client program development at the Santa Fe Business Incubator. We also called on and pitched to prospective clients where we could blend our different experiences and skills. There were many engaging conversations with him about most every topic. I miss you, Kirk. Blessings to you, Louise.
Posted by Sue Cretarolo on May 1, 2021
We just lost one of the really good guys. All of us are fortunate to have known this exceptional man. Bright, curious, capable, gregarious, witty...the list goes on. Kirk had many interests and talents and approached them all with great passion. Whether "shredding the slopes," acing a serve, writing a book, listening to Dylan or Knopfler, or promoting his beloved Yale, he was fully engaged and wanted to share his experience with "YOU."

Kirk was a fortunate man to have the loving support of Louise, Kate and Kyle, Tyler and Shawna, Boola, Jon and Marlene, and their families. What a tribe.
We will miss your mischievous, bright blue eyes, big grin and quick wit, Kirk and we will love and remember you always, dear friend.

Go Bulldogs!!
Posted by Steve harvey on April 29, 2021
Kirk was a wonderful graceful skier and I am indebted to him for introducing me to the joy of skiing through the trees in powder snow...It was with Kirk that I first experienced backcountry skiing via Helicopter and snow cat, and this became a great passion for me too.  We shared many amazing days of skiing together and Im thankful for the enthusiasm that he shared.
thank you Kirk.
Posted by Gautam Barua on April 29, 2021
I had the honor of getting to know Kirk during the tail end of his time in San Francisco. He was such a kind and engaging person. Looking at the comments of those who knew him well, I realize that I was lucky to have connected with him, even if relatively briefly.
Posted by Jill Gruen on April 29, 2021
Kirk’s smile and laughter lit up a room. There was nothing better than the enthusiasm and energy that he brought to any activity. We always loved dinners together and will forever savor memories of Thanksgivings and Christmas Eves. And, his wardrobe was terrific! Kirk was blessed with the limitless devotion of Louise and boundless love of Kate, Tyler, family and friends. His memory is an inspiration for us all. Jill & John Gruen
Posted by George Day on April 26, 2021
The bravest man I have ever known.
Posted by Jon Cretarolo on April 26, 2021
What a wonderful tribute! So many fond memories and stories to recall. Quick wit, family, friends, lots of love...and the music.
Jon Cretarolo
Posted by Toby Taylor on April 25, 2021
I will forever be indebted to Kirk for introducing me to the music of Mark Knopfler.  After a wonderful dinner in Piedmont at Kirk and Louise's house, i received two CD's of Knopfler's live performance in Perugia, Italy. I can't listen to that music without thinking of Kirk. He had a discerning, eclectic ear for music and I always learned from his musical selections. Thanks, man. We miss you.
Posted by Penny and Jim Kennedy on April 25, 2021
We love the photographs, music of Bob Dylan and Kirk's amazing obituary on this memorial website. How very, very lucky are we to have had this extraordinary man as our friend! Kirk had such great spirit, so many interests, abilities & talents, was so kind --- truly a renaissance man! We will never forget him. Sending so much love to Louise, Tyler, Kate and their beautiful families,
Penny and Jim

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Linda Andreae on May 10, 2021
How thoughtfully written about remarkable Kirk,
his diligent work, challenges, varied interest and major accomplishments (including his understanding and work for alternative energies)
Contributions to many .. an incredible life lived in spite of most difficult challenges met by Louise and Kirk, a most caring and loving team who inspire us All. With Gratitude for You and your dear Family showing us the way❤️ Peace
“He lived he loved he laughed he left and the World will never be the same”. James Joyce
Posted by a mcnaughton on May 9, 2021
What a wonderful tribute to a man of many wonders. Our times with Kirk were ones of joy, laughter and his interest in us and our lives demonstrated his love for life. He took the lemons of life and made the most of them; never complaining, pushing himself with discipline and hope that he could do better and he did.
God rest his soul and bring comfort to the hearts of his beloved Louise, Tyler and Kate.
Angela & Larry
Posted by David Bueschel on May 6, 2021
We met Kirk and Louise when Betsy and I moved to Santa Fe in 2007. We clicked. Kirk and I were business consultants, among other common interests. We worked together to guide strategy and client program development at the Santa Fe Business Incubator. We also called on and pitched to prospective clients where we could blend our different experiences and skills. There were many engaging conversations with him about most every topic. I miss you, Kirk. Blessings to you, Louise.
his Life
James Kirk Casselman, age 76, died at home with his wife of 52 years, Louise, by his side. Kirk was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 but lived an active life throughout his illness, finding ways to maintain his positive outlook and radiant smile until his death on March 31st, 2021.

Kirk was born in Huntington Woods, Michigan, the second son of Ed and Jane Casselman. He grew up with his older brother Scott, younger brother Gary, and little sister Carol. Kirk was a charismatic leader and a natural intellect from an early age. At Berkeley High School, Kirk was a straight A student, class president and Valedictorian. He spent summers with his family at Sage Lake learning to waterski backwards on one ski. Always a generous and doting older brother, in his senior year of high school when his date fell through to see the Beatles in their first US tour, he took his 10 year old sister Carol.

After high school, Kirk attended Yale University, which held a special place in his heart .  where he majored in art history. In the fall of his senior year, he met his wife-to-be Louise Klingel in a calligraphy course. The two were married in June 1969 on Yale’s campus. After graduation, Kirk got his law degree from Columbia. He and Louise then moved to Philadelphia for 6 years where Kirk practiced law at Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius before relocating to San Francisco for 7 years as Kirk practiced law at Itel Corporation. In 1979, Kirk and Louise welcomed son Tyler, followed 4 years later by their daughter Kate. Kirk and his young family then moved across the Bay to Piedmont, California. Kirk continued to practice law and project finance for the next 25 years before he and Louise moved to Santa Fe in 2007.

An athlete all his life, Kirk ran competitive track in high school, was a gymnast in college and played tennis throughout adulthood, but his true passion was skiing. In the 1970s Kirk took up the little-known sport of Ballet Skiing, a perfect sport to blend his gymnastics skills and his downhill skiing prowess. Betamax videos still exist of Kirk performing “helicopter” jumps and dramatic “tip rolls,” all while sporting his vibrant toothy smile. When Kirk and Louise moved to Santa Fe in 2007, Kirk became a ski instructor at the Santa Fe Ski Basin, despite Parkinson’s effect on his skiing abilities. Here, he shared his love of skiing, eagerly coaxing novices down the beginner runs with that same signature smile on his face.

His undergraduate experience at Yale played a lasting role in Kirk's life, one that he wanted for every young person. While head of the Association of Yale Alumni in the Bay Area, Kirk would drive hours to meet one-on-one with highschoolers in rural parts of the state. He wanted to make sure they knew that Yale would welcome and value them. In his time in Santa Fe, Kirk launched a summer internship program for Yale undergraduates to encourage students to explore diverse opportunities in the Southwest. In 2006, Kirk was awarded the Yale Medal for outstanding service to the university and in 2013 published his memoir “. . . And for Yale: Why Bright College Years Never Fade Away.” Boola the dog remained Kirk's loyal bedside companion during the last months of his life.

Friends remember Kirk’s fervor for bringing people together and forging connections among his vast network. At any occasion, Kirk would call upon old friends to connect with new friends, ever weaving his web of good people both wider and tighter. Kirk celebrated his 75th birthday swarmed by his kids and grandkids including his son Tyler's family (wife Shawna, daughter Emiko, age 5, and son Ren, age 2), and daughter Kate's family (wife Kyle, sons Gus and Bailey, age 5, and Rowan, 18 months). In 2019, Kirk and Louise celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their house in Santa Fe, with family and friends from all over the country. The glasses for the occasion read, “Kirk and Louise, Best Friends for Half a Century.”

Those who love Kirk know that these facts hardly describe the eccentric gentleman we’ll miss so much. We’ll remember his routine of neon-clad windsprints on the Piedmont high school track. We’ll remember the unfathomable quantities of chocolate chip ice cream he consumed. We’ll remember his annual birthday handstands, just to prove that he still could. We’ll remember his decades-long devotion to Bob Dylan. Most of all, we’ll remember him vacuuming. 

Considering the pandemic, no formal memorial has been planned to celebrate Kirk’s life. Instead, reach out and reconnect with an old friend as Kirk always loved to do.
Recent stories
Shared by Jay Stevens on April 26, 2021
I met Kirk in the 70’s when he and I were working at Itel. We also did sports together. He destroyed me in tennis, but let me stay up with him in skiing. Kirk also introduced me to playing golf in bare feet in Florida  I can still remember the fire ants. 

Kirk was a joy to know, with an infectious smile. 

I haven’t seen him for a while, but I will definitely miss him.