Obituary of Morris Kirby
William “Morris” Kirby went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 13, 2023 surrounded by his wife, Barbara, and hospice nurses at bedside as he quietly slipped away. He was 82 years old. Born in Wedowee, Alabama, on August 7, 1940 to the late William Loyd Kirby and Vader Fletcher. A funeral service will be held Friday, March 17, 2023 at 12 PM, interment to immediately follow at Parkway Memorial Gardens. A visitation will take place one hour prior to funeral service. This is a celebration to one of the biggest Georgia Football fans ever—feel free to wear your red and black in his honor.
After the burial, the family invites all to come celebrate Morris' life at the Lions Club, 612 N. Houston Lake Boulevard, Centerville, GA 31028.
At the age of 22, Morris’ life was forever changed as what was believed to be a severe case of influenza, destroying the optic nerves and leaving him totally blind in one eye and less than one percent vision in the other. As a disabled man, searching for employment in the 1960’s, he became a charter member of the newly formed Blind Vendor’s Program under the Georgia Department of Human Resources Rehabilitation Division which paired the disabled with gainful employment on federal facilities. Hence, Morris’ Snack Bar was birthed; building 300 EW hallway at Robins Air Force Base was never the same again. For almost 40 years, Morris had all the responsibilities of managing a snack bar facility and serving hundreds of civil servants, military personnel, and contractors daily. With Morris’ outgoing personality, hardworking values, and eyes that couldn’t see (but a heart big as the ocean), the key to its success was of course, the heart and compassion of the manager. The bonus was the courtship of Morris and his wife of 37 years, Barbara. As an ‘early to the job’ type person, working right across from the Morris' Snack Bar, (to quote an article by the famous Ed Grisamore, "they fell in love under the moon pies”, Barbara and Morris were drawn together by church, Lions/Lioness Clubs, hobbies and eventually, matrimony. After retirement in 2006, they both tried the "daylily trail" as Barbara’s love for flowers allowed her to become an exhibition judge and travel across the country to flower shows. Several years in to judging, a club not only presented a special name tag to Barbara, but produced a “Tagalong’ name tag for Morris (one of his most treasured possessions). Both have several daylily plants named for them and a memorial daylily for Morris will be introduced in 2024. The Centerville Lions Club drew his support primarily because its focus on blindness prevention and previsions at the local capacity for building, training, medications, treatment needed for those with eye diseases, disability rehabilitation and education for all. He was President of the Lions Club from 1986-1987, awarded Lion of the Year (twice), 1998 Melvin Jones Fellowship Award (highest award bestowed as a Lion), and elected to the District 18F Hall of Fame in 2013. The Lions Club members have their own tales about the amazing Morris Kirby. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Centerville and Shining Lights Sunday School Class, Centerville Lions Club, American Hemerocallis Society and the Middle Georgia Daylily Club.
Morris is survived by his wife, Barbara A. Kirby; a stepson, Thomas Stanley of Dayton, Ohio; a stepdaughter, Tina Presley of Lexington, South Carolina; 4 step grandchildren, and 7 step great grandchildren; two siblings, James (Shirley)Kirby of Carrollton, Georgia, and Jean Bennett of Montgomery, Alabama; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will accept flowers or memorial donations may be made in memory of Morris to Hospice Care Options, 306 N Davis Drive Ste C, Warner Robins, GA 31093, and the Centerville Lions Club, PO Box 464, Centerville, GA 31028.
Please sign the online guest registry at www.heritagemfh.com and leave a personal condolence for the family.
Heritage Memorial Funeral Home & Crematory has the honor of being entrusted with the arrangements for Mr. William Morris Kirby.
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