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NANCY ELIZABETH (STRUNK) KIRBY

Nancy Elizabeth (Strunk) Kirby Nancy Elizabeth (Strunk) Kirby, 52, passed away Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. Nancy was born Christmas Day, 1959, in Anderson, Ind., to Betty Marie (Bowen) Strunk and the late Jack Dwight Strunk. Her parents always made sure she had a birthday celebration that was separate from the\ holiday. She graduated from Anderson High School in 1978; graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in mass communications from Anderson University in 1982, and went on to receive her M.A. in journalism from Indiana University in 1987. In 1988, she married fellow journalist Rick Kirby and welcomed stepdaughter, Kara Anna (now Berkshire), 29, seamlessly into her life. In 1990, daughter, Megan Elizabeth, 22 was born, and in 1992 son, Ryan William, 20. Nancy was dedicated to journalism, writing for the Anderson newspaper, Indianapolis Magazine and several other publications throughout her career. She taught English and journalism at Anderson University, Ball State University, Indiana University and, for 20 years at North Central College in Naperville. Nancy taught for a collective 25 years, and tried to convey to her students her own passion for writing. After leaving North Central College in 2010, she dedicated herself to reviving her writing career and wrote a number of freelance articles for Chicago suburban publications. Nancy loved being on or near the water, from both oceans to the Great Lakes to the smaller lakes of the Midwest. She resided for 21 years in a home on the Fox River. She played on a champion girl's basketball team in high school, played volleyball in college and stayed active her entire life, enjoying tennis and golf. She was a devoted mother and loyal friend, who remained close to companions from her childhood despite the miles of separation. Through her illness she drew strength from her Christian faith and her trust in a higher power. She is survived by her children, Kara, Megan and Ryan; her husband, Richard; her mother, Betty; siblings, Karen Strunk, 54, Pamela Joy, 50 and John Strunk, 48; as well as son-in-law, James Berkshire; and six nieces, one nephew and one great-niece. She was preceded in death by her father, Jack Strunk; her maternal grandparents, Bert Louis and Nellie May (Sweet) Bowen; and paternal grandparents, Frank and Faye (Miller) Strunk. A memorial service to celebrate her life will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 13, at First Presbyterian Church, 715 N. Carlton Ave., Wheaton, IL. Memorial contributions can be sent in her name to Hesed House at 659 S. River St., Aurora, IL 60506 or the Edward Cancer Foundation at 801 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL 60540.

Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald from Oct. 10 to Oct. 11, 2012
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