Kim David Kirby, 56, a retired educator and coach, died after a long illness Nov. 20, 2007, at his home in Havre.
Cremation has taken place and his memorial service will be Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Havre at the Van Orsdel United Methodist Church (410 5th Ave.) Followed by a fellowship luncheon at the church. Kim was born May 26, 1951, in Great Falls to Joseph and Margery (Cheney) Kirby. He was raised in Raynesford until his family relocated to Great Falls. He graduated from Great Falls Central Catholic High School in 1969 and then attended Northern Montana College, graduating with his B.S, in education in1974. He was excited to start a new chapter in his life when he married Deborah Allen on July 7, 1974, in Havre. They were blessed with one son, Josh. Kim began his teaching and coaching career at Holy Family School in Great Falls, followed by Dutton High School. He then moved his family to Havre in 1981, and taught in the "Real World Program." He sought to further develop his educational expertise by earning his master's degree in special education at Eastern Montana College in 1986. When the Havre School System discontinued the "Real World Program", Kim was prepared to teach special education at Havre High School. His illness forced retirement in November 2006, preventing him from continuing to serve "Kirby's Kids" and their families with the passion and commitment to which they were accustomed. Kim was very involved in sporting activities his entire life, first as a participant and then as a coach. High school and middle school football and wrestling were his focus. He especially enjoyed coaching and watching his son participate in a variety of sporting activities, never missing a game or match. Kim was active in Havre Youth Baseball, Havre Legion Baseball, and also in the Havre Area Special Olympics. He and Debbie were huge MSU-Northern Skylight volleyball supporters. In addition to the many volleyball "daughters" Kim adopted over the years, Kim's selflessness was further demonstrated by his passion for helping others, whether they were his students, friends, neighbors, or family. Kim never hesitated to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. His nieces and nephew will continue to be grateful recipients of his loving counsel. Kim also took great pride in the loving care his brother, Mike, gives their father since their mother's death in 2001. Following the fine example of his father, Kim was a devoted family man. His concept of family was further enriched and transformed as he experienced the joy of being a grandfather! Watching James play t-ball or share a new bit of information doubled the joy Kim had experienced with Josh. Then Jayda entered his world; Kim was fascinated and wonderfully fulfilled as he watched her explore and delight in all of creation. Perhaps his greatest sadness was that he would not be able to share more of their discoveries and development. Kim is survived by his wife of 33 years, Deborah Kirby of Havre; son, Josh (Miranda) Kirby of Havre; two grandchildren, James and Jayda; his father, Joseph Kirby and brother, Michael Kirby, both of Great Falls; mother-in-law, Helen Allen of Kalispell; sister-in-law, Sharon Young of Claremont, Calif.; nieces Kendra (Paul) Harris, Lauren (Jake) Hardwick, Jaime Young and Sarah Young; brother-in-law, David Young; brother-in-law Brian (Mary Kim) Allen; niece Lindsey (Steve) Halverson; and nephew Nicholas (Erin) Allen, all of Boise, Idaho; uncle Jim Hammer of Havre; godsons, Ryan Joy of Havre and Michael John Friman of Great Falls; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, especially Carolee Cheney of Shoreline, Wash. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Kim's honor may be made to: Havre Area Special Olympics, Havre Youth Baseball, or to the Van Orsdel United Methodist Church.