MONROE — Steven Kirby, our dear friend and brother, has passed away. “Kirby,” as he was known to his many friends, was finally overcome by a life that was more difficult than any of us would wish upon ourselves and took his own life Friday night, Nov. 8.
Steve was born in Massachusetts on July 21, 1960. The Kirbys moved back to the family home on East Elm Avenue, where our mother, grandparents and great-grandparents were born and raised, in 1965.
He was a factory guy all of his adult years, including a long stint at his father’s business, Farnol Paper, and many years at AW Transmission.
While he never cared for school much as a youngster he did take great pride as an adult that he earned his certification as a HVAC technician with straight A’s.
Steve was certainly never rich — except in the ways that were important, such as family, friends and good times. He lived many years with painful medical issues yet he always wore a smile, had an easy laugh and looked for opportunities to make life better for others. He loved to start his day at some breakfast joint (or any joint for that matter), play some ping pong, shoot a game of pool, birdwatch for pretty girls, relax at the Little Beach or hit the road blasting some Bob Seger or Travis Tritt.
The spiritual center of the Kirby clan is the cottage on Lake Leelanau. Steve spent every moment he could there with the family he loved, recharging his batteries and re-centering his soul. Uncle Stevie found great joy in his nieces and nephews, Daniel, Chris, Benjamin, Sarah, Maple, Ruby, Cooper and Granite and the children and grandchildren of his friends.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Ann and Paul, and their passing ushered in a difficult period for us all.
Steve is survived by his siblings, Michael (Cindy), Melissa, David (Martha) and Laura (Dave); his cousins, Susan Lamb and Nancy Dotlo; and his dearest friend, Ruth Baumgartner. If you find yourself in need of some of Kirby’s spirit and humor, then just spend a bit of time with Ruth.
There will be an Irish wake in Stevie’s memory at the Harbor Inn & Ale today, Nov. 16, starting at 6 p.m. Please join us. Kirby wouldn’t want you to miss it!
Memorial contributions may be made to Arthritis Foundation of America.