Master Craftsman, Artisan, Fierce Competitor, Life of the Party
Loving Husband, Father, Papa, Brother, Uncle, and Friend
Kirk Magnussen, 64, of North Smithfield, RI, passed away on January 14, 2021 after a short battle with cancer. Kirk is predeceased by his parents, Henry (Hank) and Elsa (Christiansen) Magnussen of Medfield, MA. He is survived by his wife, Laurie (Bennett) Magnussen of North Smithfield, RI; his daughter, Ranae (Sowell) Mogensen, husband Jeff, and their sons, Benjamin (18) and Joshua (17) of Shrewsbury, MA; his daughter, Gretchen (Sowell) Marois and her daughter Alexandria (22) of Woonsocket, RI; and his son Derek Sowell and his daughters Haylie (19) and Aryana (13) of Cleveland, OH. Kirk is also survived by his brother Karl Magnussen and wife, Yvonne, of Raleigh, NC; sister Karen Sessa of Medfield, MA; brother Kraig Magnussen and wife, Faye, of Millis, MA; brother Kris Magnussen and wife, Doris, of Wrentham, MA, and dozens of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and lifelong friends.
Kirk was born on December 27, 1956 into a hard-working and loving family in Medfield, MA. His parents were first-generation Americans with Norwegian heritage, and that heritage was celebrated often in their home. Henry had a keen eye for carpentry and taught Kirk and his brothers their way around a toolbox. The youngest of five children, he was well-loved. As his siblings tell it, he had a twinkle in his eye from the time he was a little boy. He displayed just the right amount of mischief – add to that a unique sense of humor – and Kirk’s personality was born. He carried that youthful energy with him throughout his life.
Kirk graduated from Medfield High School in 1975. As both a basketball and football player, “Mags” was known as a fierce competitor. He formed strong friendships with who he affectionately called “The 75’ers.” Kirk was known to challenge them to arm-wrestling contests and 50-yard dashes well into his 60's. Those very friends were by his side throughout his life.
His father’s influence of building beautiful things with his hands developed into a lifelong love of precision and craftsmanship for Kirk. He became a Master Craftsman and Artisan. He was highly sought after by many – his capabilities were unsurpassed. He restored old New England homes, built intricate banisters, winding staircases, kitchen cabinets, and custom built-ins. He also designed and built furniture from dining room tables to train tables to Adirondack chairs, and even a truck and excavator set of beds for twin boys.
In 1990, Kirk married his best friend and soul mate, Laurie. As a bonus, he became a loving and supportive father to Laurie’s three children, resulting in his five grandchildren who adored their “Papa.” Together, Kirk and Laurie hosted many amazing get-togethers over the years. From weddings to harvest festivals, pig roasts to paintball battles - their goal was to unite family and friends often and to create memories to last a lifetime.
Through their years together they shared a love of nature; specifically the gorgeous mountains and lakes of the east coast.
A celebration of Kirk’s life will be held on Mount Washington (one of his favorite destinations) this summer.
In lieu of flowers, Kirk’s family asks that you consider a donation to the Hope Health Hospice of RI, who took such wonderful care of Kirk during his final days at home
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