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Saturday, October 21, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Gerald Lee (Jerry) Kirby ascended into heaven Friday, October 6, 2023, in Junction, TX. Jerry was born in San Angelo, TX on August 30, 1938, to Richard Chelsea and Mildred Crawford Kirby. He grew up in Christoval, TX where he spent many a day playing along the banks of the South Concho River. Jerry, the youngest of four, was a very mischievous child who liked to wander and explore. It was said that the whole town helped raise him.
Jerry graduated from Christoval High School in 1956 where he played every sport available whilst still making time for girlfriends and mischief. Upon completion of high school, he attended Southwest Texas State (Texas State) for a year before returning home. He met the love of his life, Janis Raye Watson soon after and they were married June 28, 1958, in Christoval. They lived in North Texas for a few years before settling in Crane, TX in 1965, where they raised their two daughters Kim and Kara. Upon his retirement from ARCO in 1992, they moved to Janis’ hometown of Junction where he became an active member of the community for the rest of his life.
From his first job to his last, Jerry never stopped working. He spent most of his professional life in the oil and gas industry. In his early years he worked as a salesman, roughneck, and lease operator. He was hired by ARCO at the Block 31 natural gas plant near Crane, TX where he spent 27 years. He then worked at the Junction natural gas compressor station before starting a second career as Kimble County’s first Groundwater Conservation District Manager where he worked for 17 years.
Jerry was a man about town. He was an active member of First Methodist Church Junction and served on the church Administrative Board. He also served on the Kimble County Hospital Board, Upper Llanos Soil and Water Conservation District Board, and Kimble County Groundwater Conservation District Board. He volunteered with the Kimble County Chamber of Commerce, Meals on Wheels, and numerous other community organizations and events. Jerry was even once Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.
In his spare time Jerry could be found on the ranch he loved raising livestock and taking care of day-to-day ranching activities. He enjoyed spending time with his grandsons. He instilled in them a love of the outdoors and the value of hard work. He also loved meeting new people. He never met a stranger and worked the room with a smile, handshake, and a firm pat on the back. Jerry was a loving and devoted husband, father, and “Peepaw”. He will certainly be missed but his legacy will carry on for generations in lessons, stories, laughter, and memories.
Jerry is preceded in death by his wife Janis Raye Watson Kirby, parents Richard Chelsea and Mildred Crawford Kirby, brother Jack Lee Kirby, sister Elizabeth Ann Kirby Rawls, brother Richard Chelsea “Dick” Kirby, brother-in-law Bill Rawls, and sister-in-law Shirley Kost Kirby. He is survived by daughter Kimberly Rae Kirby Golson and husband Randy Golson, Kara Lee Kirby Wood and husband Rick Wood, grandsons Gabe Golson, Hayden Wood, Holt Wood and wife Erin Hoelscher Wood, and his faithful red border collie, Bella. Donations can be made to Kimble County Meals on Wheels and the First Methodist Church Junction Landscape Fund. The family would like to invite you to a memorial service in remembrance of Jerry Kirby Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 11:00 AM at First Methodist Church Junction.
The family would like to thank the kind and caring staff of both Kimble Hospital and Frontera Healthcare. It is clear that healthcare is more than just a job to you. Also, the family extends a special thanks to Betsy Blaylock for always answering the phone when we called. The family thanks Kimble County Meals on Wheels and our dear church family for all your love and support.