Cover photo for Kirby, Merle's Obituary
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Kirby, Merle

d. January 14, 2014

Merle Kirby, age 78, of Greenview, passed away on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

He is survived by a daughter Durinda Kirby of Athens, a son Mike (Lori) of Mason City, one brother William Dean Kirby of Tolono; three grandchildren Landon “Hoss” (wife Jamie) Kirby of Greenview, Natasha (Adam) Bacon of Greenview, Kaylee Kirby of Mason City; two step-grandchildren, Ryan and Jeremy “Tank” Hatfield of Mason City; two great grandchildren Kirby Jo Bacon and Milo Bacon.

He is preceded in death by his wife Jane in 2008, a son Patrick “Fudd” in 2005; four brothers James, John, Eugene, and Donald; brother-in-law Bill Armstrong and sister-in-law Susan Armstrong.

Merle was born June 7, 1935 in Buffalo, IL, son of Arthur and Opal (Duncan) Kirby.

Merle graduated from Tri-City High School in 1953 and attended Blackburn College.

He married Jane Armstrong on April 10, 1955.

Merle was a farmer in the Greenview area for many years and he was employed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for 25 years.

He was very active in the community and had many memberships. Merle was Chairman of the Menard County Commissioners Board for 19 years. He was also a member of the New Salem Shrine Club, Greenview Masonic Lodge #653, Menard County Farm Bureau, Jesters, and Ancient Accepted Scottish Right 33rd Degree. Merle was a member of the United County Council of Illinois and the Greenview Community Fire Protection District Board.

Merle love taking fishing trips to the cabin in Minnesota. He was loved by many and never knew a stranger.

Visitation will be held on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 4-8 PM at the United Greenview Church in Greenview with Masonic services at 7:30 PM. Memorial services will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at the United Greenview Church in Greenview.

Rev. Stephanie McCullough will be officiating.

Burial will be held Elmwood Cemetery

Memorials can be made to Shiners’ Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL, 33607.

Cremation is being accorded by Mott & Henning Funeral Home, in Athens, IL.


  1. God be with you at this difficult time. My sincerest condolences to each and every one of Merle’s family and friends.

  2. It is hard for me to express my friendship with Merle. We not only came from the same area we also belonged to many of the same fraternal organizations . I am truly sorry for your loss but also my own . It is an understatement to say he loved life .I have never know anyone to have the energy that Merle displayed for life and his numerous friends . I was blessed to be one of his “TRI-CITY REJECTS” When our paths would cross he would yell across the room “Dangerous Dan ” then we would have a CC and start telling lies . That is how I will remember Merle . I am afraid I will not be able to attend any of the services as I will be out of town . But for me and my family you have our deepest sympathys . Danny

  3. My condolences to Merle’s family. I worked for two Congressional offices and knew Merle through them. He was such a nice and fun person to know. He will be missed.

  4. We were so sorry to hear about Merle. He invited out to go fishing and we just never made the time. I am so sorry we didn’t get to do that. You are all in our thoughts because he loved you all a great deal and he will be missed. But memories of Merle and Jane will live on forever for us.

  5. I never knew the man without a smile or a kind word. It was so nice to see him at the county association meetings. He was such a strong advocate for Menard County. Merle will be truly missed by many.

  6. My “Bob” thought the world of Merle. They often attended the same functions and Bob always came home with a new Merle Kirby story. He will be sadly missed.

  7. Merle called and left a message for me last week as a ‘Menard County consultant’ on taking care of calves in the cold weather… “whiskey and an egg”! He did not leave his name, but his voice gave him away!! I called back early this week and we talked about farming, land prices, the weather, George Myers and how to warm up calves born in cold weather. I have enjoyed visiting with Merle from time to time as he always had a cheer and a smile. He was always gracious and appreciative. May the Lord bless his soul and keep him in the same spirit as we knew him!!

  8. My deepest sympathy to the Kirby family. A great loss to you and Menard County. I appreciated the opportunity to work with Merle and to know the family. May God’s blessings be with you as you move forward.

  9. We are so sorry to learn of Merle’s passing. He was such a great friend to all and will surely be missed.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

    Ginger and Dick Rush

  10. My deepest sympathy to Merle’s family. I was fortunate to go to school with Merle at Buffalo Grade School and High School. When we had our 60th class reunion last year, it was a pleasure to see and talk to him again. He was a person who never met a stranger and loved life to its fullest. I will treasure knowing Merle and Jane. I am sorry that I could not attend the service. I know he will be missed by all who knew him. Lucille Wilson Hundley

  11. We are very sad to hear of Merle,s passing. What a loss for family, friends,and his beloved Menard County. He will be sadly missed! We were unable to attend any service due to prior commitments.

  12. I work with Natalie and am sorry for your loss.

  13. We were so saddened to hear of Merle’s passing. We attended a lot of UCCI events with Merle and always enjoyed his stories and smile. He will be missed. Our sympathy to all of his family!

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