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James "Big Jim" Henry Kirby, Jr., 84, of Zanesville, Ohio, passed away Friday, April 19, 2019. James was born March 8, 1935 to the late James H. and Mary E. (Viney) Kirby, Sr. In addition to his parents, James is also preceded in death by a son, Brian Kirby; and siblings, Dwight Viney, Bernadene Keels, and Shirley Kirby.
James leaves behind to cherish his memory, his loving wife of 61 years, Alyce A. Kirby; his children, James E. Kirby, Kenneth Kirby and Keith Kirby; grandchildren, Lakin and Darcine; great-grandchildren, Rockel, Jeremiah and Lea; siblings, Betty Franklin, Gertrude Morgan and Kenneth Wayne Kirby; several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other family and friends.
James was born and raised in Glouster, Ohio, where he attended school and was very involved in the sports programs. He was an athlete and was known to play football, basketball, baseball and golf. James had a passion for history, especially American History, and also Geography. Following his schooling, James married his wife Alyce in 1956. The two went on to share a beautiful life together.
James was drafted twice into the United States Army, where he served his country proudly. At the age of 18, James began working for the Burnham Corporation in foundry education and supervisory. He would go on to give over 40 years of dedicated service before retiring. James was known for volunteering in his community. Over the years, James volunteered as both a Biddy League football coach for the West Rangers, and also as a Y-City baseball coach, where he impacted the lives of many children, including his own. For 25 years James volunteered for the Zanesville High School Boosters Club, where he cooked chicken and also drove bus for both the cheer leading and basketball teams. In later years, James would take his wife on trips, just to give her something to do. They enjoyed this time traveling together, and Alyce particularly enjoyed that James would always drive.
James was a loving and generous man who will be greatly missed. You may call on the family Friday, April 26, 2019 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., with funeral service to follow at 11 a.m., at The Union Baptist Church, 56 8th St., in Zanesville. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery. BURRELL FUNERAL SERVICES is serving the family.