Don Zirkle, Former AHS Teacher

Zirkle passed away at his home in Austin on Christmas Day, 2014, at the age of 76. Don was born on March 26th, 1938 in Santa Anna, Texas to Earl and Thelma Zirkle.

After graduating from Coleman High School in 1956, Don attended Texas A&M, receiving a BA in History and Political Science in 1960. After graduation, he received a scholastic scholarship to Rice University, where he studied Library Science from 1960-1961. In 1961, Don joined the Navy, commissioning as an Ensign. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea from 1961-1964. After leaving active duty in 1964, Don joined the Navy Reserve and moved to Austin. In 1965, he began teaching World History at Austin High School, while also attending the University of Texas, receiving an MA in Education in 1970. In 1985, while still working with AISD as the Library Media Coordinator, Don retired as a Commander from the Navy Reserve. In 1995, Don retired from AISD after 30 years of service. Even after retirement, he continued to work part-time as a computer tech with AISD Library Media Services for another 15 years until his “second” retirement in 2010.

Throughout his life, Don had a passion for books, history, old movies, and traveling around the world… But he loved nothing more than he loved his family. He will be remembered by all who knew him for his exceptional generosity and his kind, loving heart.

Don is preceded in death by brothers David and Bobby Joe Zirkle, and sister Linda Dove. He is also preceded by sister-in-law Virginia and nephew Dwight.

Don is survived by his wife of 38 years, Shirley Hall Zirkle of Austin. He is also survived by his son Brent Zirkle of Lewisville, and granddaughters Emma, Olivia, and Sarah. Don is also survived by his daughter Stephanie Zirkle of Austin… And finally by his youngest son Jason Zirkle and wife Alison of Austin, and granddaughters Charlotte and Gillian.

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