Anita Louise Kirby

Anita Louise Kirby passed away on April 17, 2023.

Anita Louise Kirby passed away on April 17, 2023

KIRBY—Anita Louise Kirby was born in Roy, Ore. to Victor and Agnes Vanderzanden. She was the second oldest of 13 children, growing up on the family farm with four brothers and eight sisters. Shortly after graduating from high school, Anita joined the Navy and served for four years with distinction. She received a good conduct medal and in 1958, an honorable discharge. During her time in the Navy, she was primarily stationed near Jacksonville, Fla.

Anita met her husband, Richard (Dick) Kirby, through a Catholic pen pal program, and they were married on October 5, 1963 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Roy. Together they built a family, beginning in Baker City where they bought their first Coast to Coast Hardware store. In 1967, they sold that store and established another in Florence where they raised their family of three boys and one girl.

Anita was a devoted wife, mother, and business owner, always busy helping at the store, keeping the children in line, or volunteering at church. Above all, she had a passion for singing and laughter, often doing both at the same time! Anita was always praying, always kind and always a help to those in need. She was in constant motion, rarely sitting still. She could be found in the church choir (always early) singing with all her heart, or at home playing the organ or accordion for a festive, impromptu polka!

In retirement, Anita and Dick enjoyed traveling the country and taking on new adventures. Her Christ-like spirit and love for life will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Anita is preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Dick (2007). She is survived by her sons, Pat (Susan) Kirby of Florence, Mike (Sandy) Kirby of Sartell, Minn., Dan (Kathy) Kirby of North Bend, Wash., and daughter Mary (Daryl) Haggard of Florence. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Florence on Wednesday, April 26 to honor and celebrate Anita's life. Burns’s Riverside Chapel in Florence handled arrangements.