Jane Claire Kirby, 95, former Ridgefield Rotary Citizen of the 12 months, longtime healthcare employee at RVNAhealth, has died
Jane Claire Kirby passed away peacefully on January 21, 2023 at her home in Ridgefield Crossings. She was 95 years old, the proud mother of five daughters and a widow for fifty years.
Claire was born on August 10, 1927 to Vincent and Mae Cushing in Huntington, NY. She graduated from Huntington High School in 1945 and went on to Southampton Nursing School. Her program was sponsored by the US military and despite the end of the war in her freshman year, the military honored her commitment and she graduated as an RN in 1948.
She married Patrick Kirby, an Army veteran, in 1950. While Pat worked full-time by day and graduated from college by night, Claire continued her nursing career and began raising a family in Huntington, Kings Park and Northport, Long Island. In 1968 the family moved to Ridgefield.
Claire loved the excitement and pace of emergency room nursing at Danbury Hospital, but after the sudden death of her husband in 1973, Claire transferred her skills to home nursing and worked for the Ridgefield Visiting Nurses Association for almost 40 years.
She had a passion for helping others and always stood up for the underdogs. Her fighting spirit combined with a sharp sense of humor endeared her to her patients.
The Rotary Club honored her with a Citizen of the Year Award for her service and impact on generations of families in Ridgefield, and RVNA threw a grand farewell after her retirement at age 72. She continued to volunteer at health and blood pressure clinics and at AmeriCares in Danbury. A devoted animal lover, Claire rescued both dogs and cats. An avid sports fan, she played women’s softball and pick-up hoop games for years and was always the loudest supporter in the stands at youth games.
In addition to her husband, Claire is deceased by her parents, her sister June and her brother Tom. She is survived by daughters Jane Royal of Madison, GA, Carol Kirby of St. Charles, IL, Barbara Landers of Whitingham, VT, Nancy Wilhoit of North Palm Beach, FL, and Ann Coe of Harpersville, AL. She has eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Family and friends will be welcomed at the Kane Funeral Home on Friday, January 27, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. A Christian funeral service will be celebrated on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 9:30 am at St. Mary’s Church; 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Burial will take place at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Ridgefield.
Donations in Claire’s memory can be made to an animal rescue organization of your choice.