Fishing 01

Kirk Phares

March 7, 1938 ~ August 9, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


Kirk Phares of Tulsa passed away August 9, 2023. Kirk was born in Many, Louisiana, on March 7, 1938, to James and Ruth (Horn) Phares. Kirk was brilliant, funny and kind, and he led an interesting and meaningful life. He graduated from Granby High School in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was a star athlete in football, baseball and basketball.

Although several MLB teams expressed interest, he chose to accept a football scholarship at the University of South Carolina. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers, traded to the Dallas Cowboys, and later played for the Montreal Alouettes. After deciding football was not his path to fame and fortune, Kirk returned to South Carolina to get his Master's Degree, taught high school and college biology, then earned a PhD in invertebrate zoology from Louisiana State University.

During his time at LSU, Kirk met the love of his life, Lynn Levisay. After marrying, Kirk and Lynn moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where Kirk had accepted a post-doctoral position at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. That one-year post-doc turned into an extraordinary 29-year career as a medical researcher, medical school professor, and administrator with UNMC. He was an internationally known medical researcher, presented at conferences around the world, and held several patents for his work. After retirement, Kirk and Lynn moved to North Padre Island, Texas, where Kirk loved beachwalking, fishing and boating with his canine sidekick, Luke.

Kirk was an avid hunter and fishermen, with a special passion for bonefishing in the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, and Venezuela. He and Lynn enjoyed traveling and visited more than 30 countries together. He loved watching sports and was a die-hard Nebraska football fan (Go Big Red!). He loved reading, woodcarving, and bird watching. He was a gifted board game cheater and birthday poet for his kids. He was most proud of the accomplishments of his wife, children and grandchildren. Kirk/Dad/Granddad will always be our favorite boat captain.

Kirk is survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Lynn Levisay Phares, of Tulsa; his daughters Laura Phares of Asheville, North Carolina; Margaret Wanning (John) of Greenwood, South Carolina; Adele Latell (Scott) of Brevard, North Carolina, and Jessica Caruthers of Enid, Oklahoma; his grandchildren Frances Wanning, Gretchen Wanning, Molly Wanning, Henry Black, Thomas Black, Taryn Caruthers, Delaney Caruthers, and Riley Caruthers, and two great-grandchildren, Charlie Turner and Jasper Kirk Black; his brother James Phares (Sheila) of Virginia Beach, Virginia and sister Holly Rohr of Winter Park, Florida; and many nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins, and beloved friends.

Kirk was preceded in death by his mother Ruth Horn Phares Hall and stepfather Red Hall, his father James J. Phares and stepmother Marcus Phares, his mother- and father-in-law, Athol and Pete Levisay, his hunting buddy and nephew Lane Chandler, and his best dog ever, Luke.

A private family celebration of life is planned. In lieu of flowers, Kirk's family asks that you make a donation to your favorite nonprofit in his memory.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kirk Phares, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Kirk Phares?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Kirk's memory.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Kirk Phares

© 2023 Bixby-South Tulsa Funeral Service & Crematory. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility