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Herbert Weldon Kirby

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Herbert Weldon Kirby Obituary
Herbert Weldon Kirby

AGE: 79 • formerly of Mountain Lakes

Herbert Weldon Kirby, 79, of Longwood, FL, passed away unexpectedly in Denville, NJ on Sunday, June 2, 2013. The eldest child of the late Mary Kirby (nee Jakovich) and Victor Kirby, he was born November 21, 1933 in Birmingham, MI. A graduate of Baldwin High School in Birmingham, Herb received a degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University '56, where he met his wife Joan Kirby (nee Heflin). A Tau Beta Pi honors recipient and in '04, Herb was honored with the Red Cedar Circle Award which is given to Chemical Engineering alumni for their distinguished service to the profession and outstanding commitment to the community. Herb worked in various engineering and management positions at Continental Oil Company until '72. He became Executive Assistant to the President at Allied Corporation in '73, becoming Vice President and General Manager of the Fertilizer Division in '82. At the pinnacle of his career, he led a group of fellow Allied employees in the successful buyout of a major division of the corporation. Under Herb's leadership as President and CEO, and following several mergers and acquisitions in the early 90's, his spin-off company, Arcadian Corporation, ultimately became a cornerstone unit of the largest fertilizer company in the Western Hemisphere. He retired in 1990 as CEO, but continued to serve on the Board of Directors through '97, when the company was merged into the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. Herb also advised Czechoslovakia on privatization of former state-owned companies. Herb was actively involved in numerous professional organizations as a member of the National Freight Traffic Association, the Transportation Association of America, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as a former Director of the Fertilizer Institute.

Herb was a resident of Mountain Lakes, NJ for 37 years where he served on the Borough Council and the Planning and Zoning Boards. Herb also served as Mayor in '98 and was honored as Citizen of the Year in '00. He was a member of the board of the Medical Needs Foundation, Lakeland Hills YMCA, NJ Center for Hospice and MSU Engineering Alumni Association. He was a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry and finance committees. He enjoyed spending time with his family and grandchildren. He was a world traveler of over 100 countries and enjoyed photography, computers and restoring his '68 mustang convertible. Herb was an avid golfer and gardener. Herb and Joan were major benefactors to many deserving and charitable organizations, including Children's Hospice International and the MSU College of Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, serving on advisory boards for both.

Herb is survived by his children, Mark Weldon Kirby and his wife of 31 years, Chrys-Ann, Caryn Leah Kirby and fiancé Scott Kennedy and his son Ryan, Lauren Kirby-Van Riper and her husband of 14 years, John. Herb and Joan served as foster parents to 17 children. His grandchildren include Kevin Weldon and his wife Emily, Brian Matthew and Cathryn Rose Kirby, William John and Caellum Kirby Van Riper. He is also survived by one great grandchild, Kieran Michael Kirby. Herb is survived by his younger brother, John Steven Kirby, his wife Beverly and two sister-in-laws, Patricia Smith and Sondra Witz. Herb was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Joan and daughter, Kyle.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Memorial services on Friday, June 7th at 2pm at the St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 215 Boulevard, Mountain Lakes, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of, Herbert Weldon Kirby to Children's Hospice International at 1101 King Street, Suite 360, Alexandria, VA 22314. Arrangements under the direction of Norman Dean Home for Services, Denville, NJ www.normandean.com, (please share a memory of Herb on website).

Published in Daily Record from June 5 to June 7, 2013
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