Harold “Butch” Kirby, a lifelong resident of Hood River, Ore., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles.
Butch, the youngest of the four Kirby Boys, was born to Wendell and Bessie Mary Ann Kirby on April 18, 1924, in Odell, Ore. He grew up and attended school in Odell, graduating from Odell High School in 1943.
Upon his graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and proudly served on the USS Oak Hill in the Pacific fleet during World War II.
After the war, he returned to Hood River where he got a job at Stadelman Fruit Company. It was at the Stadelman Christmas party where he met his future wife, Lora Ann Copper. They were married the following year on Nov. 30 1947.
He worked at several different jobs before choosing his career. After some time at Stadelman's, he worked one summer at his father-in-law’s lumber mill in Wamic, Ore. He then went to school to become a barber and worked at a barber shop in downtown Hood River.
That short career ended when he was offered a job as a USDA fruit and bee inspector for the State of Oregon where he worked until his retirement in 1985.
Butch was a member of the Hood River Elks Club for 68 years, the American Legion Post 22 for 68 years, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. His interests were many. He enjoyed fishing, rock hounding, bee keeping, camping, following sports, playing cards, and gardening. His gardens provided plenty of berries and vegetables for his family and friends.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, his three brothers, Roy, Ralph, and Ken, and his “little bride” of 64 years, Lora Ann Kirby.
He is survived by his son, Dr. George Kirby, and daughters Sally Pritchett (Dyrk) and Barbara Sigl (Duane), all of Hood River. He also leaves seven grandchildren: Robert, Lora, Daniel, Jennifer, Katie, Adam and Sarah, as well as eight great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Saturday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church with military inurnment at Idlewilde Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.
The family requests that contributions be made in Harold’s name to either Hood River Heart of Hospice or the Hood River Elks Club Veteran’s Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
Condolences are being received online.
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