Achievement Award in the Arts – Reunion 2003

Kirk Igler’s life was marked by great integrity and great enthusiasm, and his death has been a loss to his family, his profession, and the Drew community.

Kirk, a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, came to The Forest because Drew offered excellence without requiring mathematics.  An allergy to numbers did not keep him from studying science, and Robert and Florence Zuck guided his botany major.  He was also close to Julius Mastro and worked in Mastro’s shoe store during and after college.  A brief return to science, as an entomologist for Penick Drugs in Orange, New Jersey, ended with a call from Ward Landrigan C’63.

Landrigan lured him to Parke-Bernet Galleries (now Sotheby’s) to manage antique and classic car sales; Kirk then branched out, heading Sotheby’s European furniture and oriental rug departments after gaining experience in London.  In 1974 he left Sotheby’s to become a retail dealer of English furniture and related decorative arts with Vernay & Jussell.  The next year he went on to a partnership with Landrigan and John Stair, and ultimately worked on his own as Kirk A. Igler, Inc., specializing in fine and decorative arts, appraisals, and advising private clients on purchases.  He continued his association with Sotheby’s as a consultant and senior appraiser.  His knowledge, amazing memory, “good eye,” sense of style, delight in his work, and absolute integrity earned him the trust and respect of all.

Kirk and Roberta Acocella C’66 married in their junior year.  They lived in New Providence and Mendham, New Jersey, for many years, and kept in touch with Drew friends through Jared McDavit C’64’s annual Bastille Day picnic.  Kirk’s enthusiasm for his work was mirrored in his private life by a love of family, cars, motorcycles, his dogs, and golf.  Golf was a passion; he played, practiced, and read golf, built golf clubs, and collected antique clubs.  The Iglers moved to Vermont and semi-retirement in 2000 to be near family and to play golf in a quieter setting.

Kirk died on December 11, 2001, at the age of 57, in an automobile accident.  He is survived by Roberta, their sons Keith and Matthew, and their granddaughter Anna, all of whom Kirk adored.  A second grandchild, born after Kirk’s death, bears his name.  We honor Kirk for his character and achievements and wish he could have been with us today.