Bill Wilson Kirby, Jr.

Published 5:05 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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Bill Wilson Kirby, Jr aged 80, passed away on May 16th, 2023 after a short hospitalization at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. For the last few years he had been a resident of the Summer Village, Magnolia Place in Auburn. He was born in Tallasssee, AL and proudly considered Tallassee his hometown, though the Jordanville part of town was where he lived with his mother, grandmother, and uncle. He was a Boy Scout, played Little League baseball, and loved cars like most boys of that time. He graduated from Tallassee High School in 1961, and paying his own way, Bill spent the first two years of his college education at Troy State University. 1965 was a momentous year for him: he transferred to Auburn University and also met Brenda Butler from Reeltown. Always a bit impetuous, he asked her to marry him after dating for two weeks. They married shortly after and set up house in a single-wide mobile home parked across a dirt road from Brenda’s parents in Reeltown. A daughter, Paula, followed and in 1968, Bill graduated from Auburn with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He accepted a job with General Electric, and the family moved to Rome, GA. He had always aspired to work for the Alabama Power Company, and in 1970 he accepted a position in industrial power sales that took him, Brenda, Paula, and Mark to Greenville, AL. After one year, Bill was promoted and the family moved to Selma, AL. During his 14 years in Selma, Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating on the Alabama River, and giving back to the community through his involvement in the Selma Civitans Club, including serving as President in 1980. In 1986, he and Brenda moved to their dream home on Lake Martin. He continued his career with Alabama Power, commuting from the lake, first to Montgomery and then later to the Auburn office. Auburn football became a big part of their social life, and they enjoyed tailgating with friends in their RV, as well as traveling around the southeast. Bill also started a hobby, which became a small business, making old- fashioned glass minnow traps in the style used at Lake Martin when he was young. He later expanded the product line to include table lamps made from the minnow traps. Sadly, in 2004 Bill suffered a stroke triggered by meningitis which deprived him of most of his sight and much of his mobility, resulting in a medical disability retirement from his beloved Alabama Power Company. In declining health, and after Brenda’s passing in 2016, Bill had to leave his Lake Martin home for assisted living in Auburn.

He was preceded in death by his mother Lula Holmes Plant, his dear grandmother Mary Laura Holmes Plant, his father Bill W. Kirby, Sr., uncles Louis Plant and Raymond Plant, and his loving wife of 50 years Brenda Joan Butler Kirby.

He is survived by his daughter Paula (Marshall) Norrell of Opelika, son Mark (Ann) Kirby of Gulf Breeze, FL, and brother Raymond (Nancy) Kirby of Lake Martin, along with his grandchildren Kirby Norrell, Walker Norrell, Erik Norrell, Aaron Norrell, Kyle Kirby, Drew Kirby, and Laura Kirby, and great-grandson Stone Hawkins Norrell.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cemetery Committee of the Salem Macon Baptist Church, 4647 Tallapoosa Street, Notasulga, AL 36866.

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The family will receive friends and relatives on Saturday, May 20th at the Jeffcoat Funeral Home, 255 Friendship Road, Tallassee AL 36078 beginning at 1:00 PM, followed by a memorial service to celebrate Bill’s life at 2:00 PM in the Jeffcoat Chapel with family friend Benjamin C. Nichols presiding.

Online condolences are available at:
Jeffcoat Funeral Home Directing