The Reverend Jeanne Wise Kirby-Coladonato, 74, died January 22 at her home in Seaford, Delaware. Born December 19, 1939 in Savannah, Georgia to the Joseph Alphonso Wise and Lucie Moffat Wise, Jeanne grew up in Savannah, Georgia. After graduating from Savannah High School she studied Mathematics at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She was ballerina in her teen and college years. She later met and married Navy Ensign John A. "Jack" Kirby. The Kirbys had three sons and the family lived in several New England locales before relocating to Hagerstown in 1971. Jeanne was an instructor and choreographer in ballet and modern dance at Hagerstown Junior College for many of those years, and was also active in lay ministry at St. John's Episcopal Church in Hagerstown. The Kirbys' marriage of 43 years ended with Jack's death in 2001. In 1980, Jeanne completed her Bachelor's Degree at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and subsequently entered Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. She was ordained as an Episcopal Priest in 1983. She served in the capacity of Associate Rector at St. Christopher's Church in Linthicum and then at St. Anne's Church in Annapolis before being called as Rector of St. Luke's Church in Seaford, Delaware in 1993. She was rector of St. Luke's until her retirement in 2011. Jeanne married Dr. Joseph Coladonato in 2006 in Seaford, Delaware. They were married for seven years. Jeanne was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and supporter of numerous charitable organizations. She was a collector who also enjoyed fine dining as well as travel. Jeanne and Joe made numerous cross-country trips and they toured Italy last December. Jeanne was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Wise; mother, Lucie Wise (later, Lucie Sweet); step-father, Thomas Sweet; brother, Daniel Wise; and niece, Toni M. Vaccaro. Jeanne is survived by her husband, Joe, of Seaford; three sons, John (Janet) Kirby of Annandale, Virginia, James (Rebecca) Kirby of Charleston, South Carolina, and Joseph (Susan) Kirby of Arnold; seven grandchildren John, Judith, Joanna, Patrick, Hannah, Margaret, and Lucie; and by nieces and nephews Kelly, Michael, David, Tracee, Jerry, and Richard, and their families. A memorial service and celebration of Jeanne's life will be held 3 p.m., Sunday, February 9 at St. Luke's Church, 204 N. Front St, Seaford, Delaware. Interment will follow at St. Luke's Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Luke's Church. 202 North Street, Seaford, DE 19973.
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Published in The Capital on Jan. 28, 2014