George Harold Kirby, a lifelong resident of Hood River, Ore., passed away in his home on Jan. 10, 2016, following a brief illness. He was born on Jan. 30, 1949, at Hood River Hospital, to Harold “Butch” and Lora Ann (Copper) Kirby. The oldest of three children, he enjoyed a happy childhood in Hood River and graduated from Hood River High School in 1967.
George was a lifelong scholar, attending many classes and programs at numerous colleges and universities throughout his lifetime gaining a vast array of knowledge. He loved to learn. He studied psychology at George Fox University graduating in 1971 with his bachelor’s degree. He then followed with his master’s degree in counseling at the Oregon College of Education. At that time he worked with at-risk youths at Chehalem House in Newberg, Ore.
Realizing his love for the valley he returned to Hood River and took a job as a physiologist with Hood River Center for Living in 1977. In the late 1980s he started working at the Hood River nursing home's psychiatric unit. For several years he traveled throughout Oregon consulting for the state at various geropsychiatric programs. He ultimately returned to school and obtained his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine in 1998. Dr. Kirby opened a family practice soon after in Hood River. He was very passionate about holistic family medicine and felt he had found his true calling as a physician.
He was an active member of St. Mark’s Church, which he attended from childhood until the time of his death. He was a very spiritual person and devoted much of his free time exploring theology and expanding his faith.
George was an Eagle Scout, and acted as Scout Master of troop 382 for several years. He enjoyed gardening, art, music, woodworking, and amateur radio. He loved the outdoors, and took joy in walking throughout town and hiking trails in the area. One of his favorite adventures was a 50-mile backpacking trip around Mount Adams.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and survived by his son Robert Kirby of The Dalles and daughter Lora (Jonathan) Howard of Chester, N.H.; his five grandchildren: Matthew, Nathan, Laurel, David, and Emma; his sisters Sally (Dryk) Pritchett and Barbara (Duane) Sigl, both also of Hood River; as well as many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Services will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Hood River on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations can be made to St. Mark’s Church or Heart of Hospice.
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 the family.
Condolences are being received online.
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