Walter “Wally” J. Zirk, 83, of Kendall passed away Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, at Vernon Manor in Viroqua, Wis. Born on May 8, 1940, to Edward and Milladore (Jones) Zirk in Kendall, Walter graduated from Kendall High School in 1958, proudly earning a place in the “top 10 of his class” of nine students.

In 1963, Walter married Shirley Siebecker and ventured into the milk truck business, initially purchasing a route from Ray Popp.  He operated the truck for eight years before joining Robert Benish Sr. of Hillsboro, hauling bulk milk. Walter continued his career with Frank Benish after the business transitioned hands and eventually retired after 48 years of truck driving, with the sale of the business to Tim Neubauer Trucking in Sparta, Wis. Post-retirement, he drove a school bus for Brown’s Bus Service in Elroy. 

Active in the community, Walter served on the Kendall Fire Department for over 20 years, holding the position of fire chief for the majority of his tenure. He was a member of the Kendall Lions Club and the St. John’s Lutheran Church.  He was the proud leader of the infamous “Al Capone Gang,” known for their pranks around Kendall.  His interests included bowling, softball, and spending time with friends and family.

Walter is survived by his two daughters, Terri Schumann of Tomah and Cindy (Scott) Steinbrink of Berlin; a son, William Zirk (Amanda) of Soldiers Grove; six grandchildren, Lukas (Amanda) Schumann of Tomah, Lance Schumann (Christa) of Tomah, Andrea (Sandeep) Virk of Montgomery, Alabama, Garrett Steinbrink (Kendra) of Shorewood, Nathan Zirk of Soldiers Grove, and Blake Zirk of Soldiers Grove; five great-grandchildren, Logan and Lane Schumann of Tomah, and Nimrat, Ranveer, and Rajveer Virk of Montgomery, Ala.; a brother, Eugene “Gene” (Louise) Zirk of Kendall; a sister, Deb Coldren of Wilton; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Shirley; an infant grandson, Tyler John Zirk; his parents; a brother, Edward Zirk Jr.; and a sister, Beata Franke. 

The family of Walter wants to express our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated staff at Milestone Senior Assisted Living in Hillsboro, Vernon Manor Nursing Home in Viroqua, and St. Croix Hospice for their steadfast care and kindness. A special acknowledgment goes to Kayla Neuman, Betty Nigh, and Pastor Peter Snyder, who provided invaluable support in ensuring Walter’s final moments on earth were surrounded by peace.

Friends may pay their respects at the Picha Funeral Home in Elroy on Friday, Jan. 19, from 5–8 p.m. and at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kendall on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 10–11 a.m. Funeral services will follow 11 a.m., officiated by Pastor Peter Snyder. Burial will be in Glendale Cemetery in Kendall. Online information can be found at