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John E. Kirby Jr.

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John E. Kirby Jr. Obituary
John E. Kirby, Jr Greatly beloved by his family, and a man of steadfast integrity and faith all his days, John E. Kirby, Jr., 87, passed away on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. A celebration of his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 at First United Methodist Church of Georgetown, TX. John was born April 8, 1926 in McLean, TX to John and Carrie Evans Kirby. He grew up in McLean and after graduating high school, was called for duty into the United States Navy V-12 at Louisiana Tech in Ruston. He graduated midshipman's school from Columbia University and was commissioned an ensign towards the end of WWII, serving honorably on the USS Sangay. After his service, John entered the University of Texas and graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering. He was hired by Humble Oil and Refining Co. and upon graduating, was sent to Pleasanton, TX to begin his career by learning the business from the bottom up, as a rough-neck on a drilling rig. He remained with Humble Oil, later Exxon and Esso Eastern as a petroleum engineer, proudly working 37 years until his retirement in 1986. It was while working with Humble in Houston, that John met his dearest wife, Mary Marie Deyo, to whom he was married 55 years until her passing in 2007. Their devoted marriage is a continuing inspiration to their 3 children and their families. It was also during their years in Houston, that John became "Papa," to his three treasured granddaughters, who adore and have tremendous respect for their wise and giving grandfather. Also, while raising their own family, John and Mary supported a foster child in Hong Kong until he was grown, and were able to visit him during their many trips to the Far East. In 1959, John and Mary became charter members of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston. They were active and serving members for many years, enjoying their "Bridgebuilders" Sunday School friends and activities. At the age of 57, before his retirement from Esso Eastern, John earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law, passing the Texas Bar in 1984. He used his law degree to serve others; doing arbitration, oil and gas expert witness and volunteer law. After a move to Onion Creek, Mary and John moved to Georgetown in 1997, finding a new church home at First United Methodist Church. There he would enjoy friendships and new paths of service for the rest of his life. He was especially proud to be a part of helping to envision, plan and bring to fruition the Grace Garden Columbarium at the church. Always driven to make a difference, John saw a need and was elected and served on the Georgetown City Council for District 5 from 2003-2006. He was passionate about making careful, thoughtful decisions regarding Georgetown's growth. John was a proud Texas Ex, Alumni college participant, member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Exxon Retirees Club of Austin and a loyal Longhorn fan. He was happiest when with his family, learning new things, traveling, enjoying time with his remarkable, lifelong Humble friends and fellow "Thinkers," playing bridge or golf and spending time at church. His family will continue to treasure the legacy of John's life...A testament to the contentment and peace that may be found for a life lived with integrity, kindness, diligence, hard-work, thoughtful service, faith and faithfulness. John is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Marie Deyo Kirby; and a sister, Lois Kirby Turner. He leaves behind to cherish his memory: his daughter, Carrie Grichuk and husband, Roy of Katy; daughter, Leslie Doering and husband, Steve of Georgetown; son, Craig Kirby of Georgetown; grandchildren: Lauren Doering and Keely Doering of Austin and Rachel Thibodaux of Houston; niece, Cindy Manz of Nashville, TN, and nephew Bill Kershner of Sewanee, TN. The family requests that memorials be directed to the First United Methodist Church, Georgetown Columbarium Fund.


Published in Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 26, 2013
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