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AMERICAN FALLS - Mike Kirby passed away Wednesday, November 28 at a local care facility.
Mike was born to Cedric and Anna Mae Kirby is Oskaloosa, Iowa, on September 29, 1951. Mike was born with special needs and at the age of 2 his parents established a school for special needs children in Mahaska County, Iowa. At the age of 4 Mike was selected to attend the University of Iowa, at Iowa City, where they were conducting studies of children affected with cerebral palsy,
After returning home to his family, he was chosen as the Mahaska County Easter Seals Child. The family moved to American Falls in 1957, and he was the first handicapped student to be mainstreamed into the American Falls School system.
Mike continued his education in American Falls and graduated in 1971. He attended ISU and received a certificate in crop and soil technology in 1973. That same year, he provided insight as a case study being done for a publication regarding cerebral palsy.
Never one to let his disabilities slow him down, he was a member of the AF Lions Club, where he enjoyed the position of "tail twister," attended services at the Methodist Church and belonged to the Eastern Idaho Ceramic Association. In 1974, one of his ceramic entries was entered in the Nevada State Ceramic competition, where he was awarded a first place blue ribbon in the handicapped division.
He worked at Harms Memorial Hospital for 11 years.
Mike never married. He was devoted to his mother and resided with her until his health began to fail.
Mike had a great appreciation for almost all sports but had a special love for the Utah Jazz, Chicago Cubs, and Denver Rockies and always followed ISU football. During high school, he was the sports manager all four years. Mike also had an extensive baseball hat collection. Friends and family have often said they went on vacation and didn't buy any souvenirs for anyone else, but always remembered to get a hat for Mike.
He also loved to hear his grandparents and uncles tell stories, and was well known to tell a few of his own. He was a practical joker and loved to tease the ladies at work and at his care facility, sometimes making them wonder if he was really being serious. He also teased his niece, Stephanie and as a result acquired the nickname, "Popcorn."
He also became the source of an old story after an ill-fated fishing trip to Devils Creek with his brother-in-law, Robert and Uncle, Lyle Kirby.
He is remembered for his patience in dealing with others and always conducted himself in a Christian-like manner.
Mike is survived by his mother, Ann Kirby, sister and brother-in-law, Sandie, and Robert Huerta and niece Stephanie Armstrong and family, all of Pocatello; plus uncles and cousins. He is preceded in death by his father, Cedric, his grandparents and aunts and uncles.
The family extends appreciation to all staff, past and present, of the Safehaven Care Center who cared for and provided for his physical and emotional needs through the years. Your rewards will be waiting for you in Heaven.
Private graveside services will he held in American Falls with a celebration of life scheduled at a later date.
Published in Idaho State Journal from Dec. 4 to Dec. 7, 2012