Jan died unexpectedly on May 1, 2023, at St. Vincent Hospital. She was born at the same hospital on July 5, 1947, to Lowell and Elizabeth “Tiz” Duffner. She graduated from Billings Central High School in 1965. She went to work for her dad in June 1966 and worked for him and his successive CPA firms until April 2023. Jan met her future husband Ron Kirk through his mom, Dorothy, whose office was down the hall from theirs. Jan and Ron were married at St. Pius X Church on May 6, 1972.
Jan loved to travel and she had many opportunities with family vacations to Denver as a kid, Harley trips with Ron, Montana tours, several national parks, Hawaii, Caribbean cruises, and one long drive to Louisiana. One of her favorite destinations was to Cabo, where she went every November for several years with Stan, Becky and Blake. She treasured her special times with them and especially her daily visits with Blake. She felt fortunate to go on pilgrimages to Italy and Israel, which made her faith come alive even more. A side trip from Israel to Amman, Jordan and Petra was an extraordinary bonus.
Jan’s family were charter members of the St. Pius X Parish when it opened in 1958. She was a shy, quiet person everywhere but in her church community. She made a point to get to know parishioners and call them by name every Sunday. Jan extended her family through her volunteer connections with so many others.
Jan was amazingly generous and giving of her time, talents and treasure. She volunteered in several capacities at St. Pius X as an Altar Minister, Eucharistic Minister, RCIA Team Member, Baptism, Wedding and Funeral Assistant, and collection counter. She was on the Parish Finance Council and a board member of LaVie and the Billings Catholic Schools Foundation. She generously donated to local and national non-profit organizations that are too numerous to mention.
Jan flunked retirement. When she quit working full time in 2017, she immediately got a parttime job working in the St. Pius X Parish Finance Office and quickly became friends with all the staff. Jan also continued to work fulltime, but only during tax season, after her “retirement.” She finished her 57th tax season on April 15, 2023.
Jan is survived by her sister, Diane (Mike Boyett); her brother, Stan (Becky) Duffner of Missoula; her nephew, Blake Tarwater of Thompson Falls; her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Lin (Kirk) and Gene O’Hara; her special family, Sue and Steve Puffpaff of Chicago; and aunts, uncles and cousins in Denver and Calgary. Jan’s parents; Ron; Ron’s parents, Dorothy and Earl; and her nephew BJ preceded her in death.
The Memorial Mass will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, at St. Pius X Church, 717 18th St. West. Following Mass, Jan’s remains will go through the Church Kingdom Doors to be interred in Calvary Cemetery.
If desired, memorials may be made to St. Pius X Church, Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter, LaVie, or a charity of your choice.
Jan was a devoted daughter, wife, sister extraordinaire, and friend. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Her life is changed, but it is not ended.
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