Dr. James A. Kirby, Ponca City
resident, died April 29, 2005,
at the Renaissance Assisted Living in Ponca City, Oklahoma. He was 91 and
formerly of Breese
service will be held Monday,
May 2, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. in
Breese, Illinois at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church with the Rev.
Patrick Peter officiating. Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. at the
church. Arrangements are made under the direction of Trout Funeral
Home of Ponca City, Oklahoma and Moss Funeral Home of Breese,
Dr. Kirby was born December 7, 1913
in Chicago, Illinois to James T. Kirby and
Elizabeth A. Keegan. He attended three elementary schools: St.
Ignatius, St. Bernard’s, and St. Leo’s. He attended Sullivan Senior
High School in Chicago, Illinois and then Loyola Academy from which he
graduated in 1931. He then attended Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, where he received
his doctorate in medicine in 1939. His internship was at St.
Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois.
At a 4th of July party in
1931, he met his first wife, Virginia Albrecht, whom he married in
1941. He established his first practice in Skokie, Illinois. He then
moved to New Haven, Illinois, where he practiced until
1965. During this time, Dr. and Mrs. Kirby had two children, Sheila
Kirby Rahme and Thomas E. Kirby. After the death of his first wife
in 1952, Dr. Kirby married Nellie Dever in 1957. They have one
child, Gary Kirby. In 1965, the Kirby’s moved to Breese, Illinois.
The Kirby’s lived in Breese until they moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma in 2000.
During the years in New Haven, Dr.
Kirby served as mayor, was a founding member of the Egyptian
Tri-County Health Department, served as President of the Parent
Teacher Association, and also served on the local school boards.
Dr. Kirby was always active in the
Catholic Church. He enjoyed teaching religion classes, serving as
Eucharistic minister, and volunteering for various activities,
especially as crossing guard for the school children.
During his time in Breese, Illinois
he served as secretary of the Clinton County Medical Society for 20
years, was a member of the staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and
practiced medicine until his retirement in 1984.
Dr. Kirby’s special interests
included watching sports events of all kinds, fishing, reading
newspapers, working crossword puzzles and horseracing. He especially
enjoyed coaching the junior legion baseball team while in New Haven.
He recently, through the intercession of his son, Tom, was able to
speak to noted persons in each of three areas of his interests:
religion, sports, horse racing. He received calls from Archbishop
Gregory, Ernie Banks (baseball), and Pat Day (jockey).
He is survived by his wife, Nellie
Kirby at the Renaissance; three children, Sheila Rahme and husband
George of Ponca City, Oklahoma, Thomas Kirby and wife Carol of
Belleville, Illinois, and Gary Kirby and wife Rachelle of Pueblo,
Colorado; and seven grandchildren, Virginia Rahme, Victoria Rahme,
Dawn Rahme, Kelly Kirby, Emily Kirby, Madeline Kirby and R.J. Kirby.
Honorary pall bearers will be Dr.
Kirby’s granddaughters and the doctors and nurses of St. Joseph
Hospital, Breese and the members of the Breese school crossing
guards, Teachers of the Parish School of religion Program and the
community of Mater Dei High School.
He was preceded in death by his
first wife, Virginia Kirby; his parents; two brothers, John F. Kirby
and Edward Kirby; and his grandson, A.J. Kirby.
In lieu of flowers, the family
requests memorial contributions be made to St. Dominic’s Catholic
School or to the Mater Dei Scholarship Fund in Breese, Illinois.