Colonel Kirby passed away peacefully on May 29 at Penrose Hospital at the age of 95. He had been a resident of Colorado Springs since 1963.
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Born in Woodstown, New Jersey, Burton grew up in a small farming town of Mullica Hill. He attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh and after college he joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the military for 30 years, retiring from active duty in 1970. Colonel Kirby served in three wars - WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was very involved in setting up the DEW line in the Arctic and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Colonel Kirby was a very modest man and never bragged about his commendations and awards he received in the military.
Colonel Kirby was a member of the Springs First Church of the Nazarene and taught Sunday School classes at various bases. He had been a Boy Scout leader, a 32nd degree Mason, past president of the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, a member of the local Veterans Council, and served for many years on the Advisory Board of the Colorado Boys Ranch in La Junta.
Burton spent 38 years as a volunteer at Penrose Hospital and one and a half years with the Colorado Springs Police Department. He was an extremely patriotic man with a heart full of love and kindness.
Colonel Kirby is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary; a son, Rob (Shannon); two grandchildren, Clayton (Heidi) and Justin; and two great-grandchildren, Jack and Madeline, all of California.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister.
A memorial service will be held on June 14, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Springs First Church of the Nazarene located at Academy Boulevard and Fountain Boulevard. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to the local Humane Society or the Penrose Hospital Foundation.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Reinhardt and the Penrose Heart Team for their tender loving care of Colonel Kirby.
Published in The Gazette from June 4 to June 11, 2014