Cover photo for Suzanne Tirk's Obituary
Suzanne Tirk Profile Photo
1937 Suzanne 2016

Suzanne Tirk

January 17, 1937 — February 21, 2016

Suzanne E. (Solum) Tirk, 79, of Ravensdale, WA, passed away Sunday, February 21, 2016 at her home, following a valiant battle with cancer.  A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 30th at 1:00 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Barnesville, MN.   Suzanne, daughter of Carl and Mildred (Tysseland) Solum was born January 17, 1937 in Barnesville, where she also attended school and grew to womanhood. Suzanne graduated from Barnesville High School and attended Concordia College, graduating in 1959 with a degree in music education.    Suzanne was an accomplished flutist, playing both at Concordia and with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony.  Suzanne also graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Oregon (1971), pursuing an international music education program, based in Germany.   Suzanne married Barnesville native and MSU/NDSU graduate, Donald Tirk, June 14, 1958 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Barnesville.  The couple moved to Seattle, WA, where Suzanne began her teaching career and Don was stationed in the Army.  Don and Suzanne were married 54 years.   Suzanne taught vocal music and music appreciation for 35 years in the Tahoma School District of Maple Valley, WA, becoming well known in the State for her choral work and annual student productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.  Suzanne and Don summered with their family over many decades at Pelican Lake, near Pelican Rapids, MN.   Throughout her teaching career and also into retirement, Suzanne sang with the Seattle and Tacoma Opera choruses, performing in a number of opera productions, including Carmen, Aida, Turandot, La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus etc.   Suzanne and Don both enjoyed traveling overseas and Suzanne was especially proud of her Norwegian heritage, visiting family in Norway a number of times. In addition to her passion and joy for music and the performing arts, Suzanne particularly treasured her family and friends.   Suzanne is survived by her two daughters, Peggy Tirk of Ravensdale, WA and Millicent Tirk of Champlin, MN.  She is also survived by two sisters, Janice (Marlyn) Ryum of Mesa, AZ and Sandra Fleming of Issaquah, WA, as well as 8 nieces and nephews.  Suzanne was preceded in death by her parents, husband Donald Tirk, sister Muriel (Terrance) McGrath, sister Beverly (Edward) Fish, two nieces and two nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations to honor Suzanne can be made in her name to the American Cancer Society, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, or Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Barnesville, MN.
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