Born in Royal, Iowa in 1934, Kirby served time in US Army from 1953-56 stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He returned home and attended the University of Iowa, receiving a BS in Economics in 1960. He began his professional life in Des Moines, IA with the Reminton Rand Corporation in 1960, but it took flight with LOOK Magazine and the Mutual Readers Group where he served as a regional franchise director, living in nearly every corner of the country throughout the 1960s.
Family connections brought him to Spokane in 1969, but he quickly found his way to Priest Lake, ID where he lived for 18 years. Kirby reinvented himself as a contractor, building his own home and many fine homes on and around Priest Lake. He made a lasting attachment to the beautiful area and its people, and it is there his ashes will be laid to rest.
He moved to Sacramento, CA in 1987 to care for his mother and remained there, working many years for McGraw-Hill, until moving back to Spokane in the fall of 2014.
He maintained and valued his close relationships with his childhood and college friends in Iowa, making regular trips to the Royal area around July 4th each year to regale them with an endless arsenal of jokes, many of the best unfit to print here.
He is survived by his daughter Alisa Emerick of Puyallup, WA, her husband Lars and their daughter Ellie and son Huyson; and by his son Kevin Ashburn and his daughter Lila of Portland, ME.
Rather than say goodbye, at his request we pass along the German salutation “Auf Wiedersehen,” which directly translates to “when we see again.”
Until then, Kirby, we hold you in our hearts.
Community Cremation & Funeral
13127 E. Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216, (509)926-2020
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