Magazine October 29, 2018, Issue

Russell and Annette

Russell Kirk in front of his home in Mecosta, Mich., November 1984 (AP Photo/Jay McNally)
Russell Kirk’s widow keeps his thought and spirit alive at the family home

Mecosta, Mich.

The morning after Russell Kirk died in 1994, John Engler visited the Kirk family in rural Michigan. He was not only a governor who wanted to pay his respects to one of his state’s most notable writers and thinkers, but also a longtime friend who had represented the Kirks’ district in Lansing as a state legislator. “What are you going to do?” he asked Annette, a widow at the age of 54. She hadn’t made any plans for her future, but she blurted out an answer: “I want to stay here.”

Nearly a quarter century later, Annette remains right where

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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