Jarvis Kirby, age 73 of Grand Haven (formerly of Philadelphia, MS), passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, May 20, 2021 after a long battle with multiple chronic illnesses, including heart disease. He was born on November 27, 1947 in Philadelphia, MS to the late Claudie and Viola (Powel) Kirby.
After graduating high school, he was drafted into the United States Army in February 1967, where he served his country during the Vietnam War. After returning to the states, he continued his education and earned a Master’s degree as an Electrical Engineer, which took him all over the world for work. After losing his beloved wife, Louise to lung cancer, his expertise brought him to Grand Haven, Michigan, where he worked at GHSP as a Principal Engineer until he retired in 2012. This was also where he met and married the second love of his life, Mary (Sandberg) Kirby, and inherited a large extended family.
Jarvis was a lifetime Member of the V.F.W. and American Legion. After moving to Grand Haven, he was an active member of the Grand Haven Elks and considered many as family. Jarvis was very social and loved traveling, fishing, boating, attending family gatherings, cookouts, and working with his hands. He was a known perfectionist, and could not tolerate seeing a single weed in his lawn. Jarvis loved animals, especially his horses and many dogs throughout his lifetime. He was deeply loved and will be forever missed by his family and extended family in both Michigan and Mississippi, as well as his many friends and colleagues from all over the United States.
Jarvis is survived by his son, Jeffrey (Karen) Kirby of North Carolina; his daughter, Tina Marie Kirby of Iowa; his grandchildren, Ryan and Megan Kirby, Steven (Amanda) Kirby, David Kirby, Tanya Kirby, Brittany and Brandi Johnson; several great-grandchildren; and sister, Debbie(Aubrey) Nance of Alabama.
He is also survived by his Michigan family; his wife, Mary (Sandberg) Kirby; step-children, Scott (Tracey) VanVelzen, Mark (Tiffany) VanVelzen, Virgil Sandberg (Holly), and April (Jason) Wolniakowski; grandchildren, Calvin VanVelzen, Adelyn, Owen, & Emerie Wolniakowski, and Isaiah VanVelzen; his in-laws, Fred Conover (Virginia Wieringa), Betty Conover, and Mitch Laker; and his beloved cocker spaniel, Kiona.
Jarvis was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Louise Kirby; his beloved son, Joe Wayne Kirby in 2010; as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins.
We would like to thank his wonderful and compassionate caregivers (Stephanie) at Tandem 365, Keystone Palliative Care, Holland Hospice, and his favorite physician and Cardiologist, Dr. Gregory Bernath.
A Celebration of Life will be held this summer in Grand Haven, date yet to be determined. Following Jarvis’ wishes, he will be buried and honored in Mississippi this upcoming fall.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sharing a favorite memory or if you wish to donate in Memory of Jarvis, please consider Hospice of Holland, the Grand Haven Elks BPOE #1200: Building Fund, or your favorite Animal Rescue.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jarvis Kirby, please visit our floral store.