Salem Funeral Home Reynolda Road
2599 Reynolda Rd., Winston Salem, NC, 27106
Saturday, Aug 22, 2015
- 6 p.m.
Oct 31, 1940 - Aug 12, 2015
Linda Louise Kirby, age 74, died August 12, 2015 at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home in Winston-Salem, NC. She was born in Winston-Salem on October 31, 1940 to Lillian Holder and Elmer Thomas Kirby. She graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School and received a BA degree from Meredith College where she was editor of the campus newspaper “The Twig.”
After graduating from college, Linda moved to Washington, D.C. where she was in a management training program at Woodward and Lothrop Department Store. It was here that she (an English major who had wanted to be a newspaper reporter) got experience in Corporate Research and Advanced Planning, which led to a job in newspaper research, which she loved. She went from Woodies in 1967, to The Washington Star Newspaper, which closed in 1981. From there she went to work for one year at The Newark Star Ledger in Newark, NJ, leaving a year later to work for 20 years at The New York Times in New York, NY. She was among the early women in the field of marketing research for a major newspaper and was active in the Newspaper Research Council.
While working in New York City, Linda moved two blocks from her sister, Ellen Kirby, Ellen’s husband Tim Smith and their son, Matthew Kirby-Smith, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She enjoyed living in Brooklyn and especially visiting Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She served on the board of directors of the Brooklyn YWCA.
Both Linda and Ellen eventually retired and returned to Winston-Salem, where they live near each other and their brother, Brent and his wife, Barbara Kirby.
In Winston-Salem as a retiree she enjoyed her neighborhood friends and belonging to the West End and The Gables Neighborhood Associations for which she volunteered on the neighborhood newspapers. She also loved working with classmates on several Reynolds High School Class of 1958 reunions.
Linda’s joys were her family, her friends, swimming at the YMCA, gardening, art and crossword puzzles. She was known for her sharp wit and good sense of humor.
Linda was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her sister, Ellen Kirby (and husband Richard McGavern) of Winston-Salem, her brother Brent Kirby (and wife Barbara) of Winston-Salem; her nieces, Laura Murdock (and husband Brian) of Charlotte, Evan Dunnagan (and husband Mark) of Winston-Salem and nephew, Matthew Kirby-Smith of Brooklyn, NY. She especially enjoyed family times with her six great nieces and nephews, Caroline, Jay and Sally Dunnagan; Colin, James and Adam Murdock.
A reception will be held on August 22 from 4-6:00 p.m. at Salem Funerals and Cremations, 2599 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem. The family suggests that memorial donations be made to the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA, 775 West End Blvd. Winston-Salem, NC 27101, Attn: Linda Kirby Memorial Fund, or the Hospice Center for Palliative Care of Winston-Salem, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.
The family wishes to thank all of Linda’s many friends for their friendship and support over many years as well as the staff of the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice and Palliative Care Home and the swimming program of the YMCA. Online condolences may be made to www.salemfh.com.
As a washington star alum l am sure l can speak for all whose lives she touched at the star in expressing my sincere sadness. Linda was a tough woman in a man's world workplace. She more than held her own. Being a beautiful young woman made her role even harder yet she maintained her lady-like presence while being one of the boys. She was always a true southern lady and a beautiful human being. What a combination!
RIP my dear friend
Rehoboth Beach ,Delaware
Although I only knew Linda for a brief time as a resident of the Gables, it was obvious she was a very special person. We shared a love of marketing and research and held similar positions in the past. I loved listening to Linda's wonderful stories of her colorful career and her great sense of humor always made them so entertaining. Both Roland and I enjoyed the newsletters she produced for the Gables and they really helped us get to know our new neighbors. Linda will be greatly missed.
Susan Holt Johnston
Ellen and Brent, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this rough time. You both have another angel looking out for you.
I have happy memories of time spent together at the Windy Mere at Myrtle Beach and when I visited you at Meredith during our college years. I fondly remember the high school slumber parties. I feel blessed to have seen you in recent years at the Class of '58 reunions. They won't be the same without you. Rest in love and peace. Gay
Robert and Jennifer Pierce
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We pray the sadness you feel right now will be lessened by the wonderful memories of your sister and the support of all your friends and family.
Sending prayers to the family. I will truly miss my dear friend, Linda.
She was my next door neighbor, a classmate and we served on committees together. A great friend.
Linda was my neighbor for many years on West End Blvd. I still walk by her house and see the tulips she brought back from Holland. She was on my steering committee for ARTSfest in 2003 when it first started. We later reconnected while at the Y swimming.
We both shared the pain of arthritis and the joy of being weightless in the water.
You are free from pain now Linda. RIP.
My condolences to her family.
What a smart, wonderful person to work with during my years at the Washington Star. Linda always had a quick wit and a caring personality and always was eager to help us on the advertising staff. I will miss her.
RESSIE MAE BASS
Sending love and prayers to the family. I am a long time friend of Ellen Kirby and Mathew Kirby-Smith. Once when I visited them in Brooklyn, Ellen took me to meet Linda in her home. She was delightful and I am glad I had the opportunity to met her. May God's grace and peace be with you.
Linda was such an integral part of the Star promotion/market research family. I can still see and hear her in the office next door as we all struggled to find good news in research about The Star. I'm so happy she went on to a rewarding career in New York. Funny, because one of my best memories of her was on a trip to New York with Justin Baum where our cab broke down and we were stranded in a questionable part of town. We were provincial Washingtonians in a big city, later to be home to her. My sincere condolences to Ellen and Brent and the rest of her family. I will always remember her fondly.
Phyllis Hayes Johnson
Linda was a lovely person. My sympathy to her family and
Richard and Brenda Chiott
Linda was a ray of sunshine and her talents and personality so engaging. We especially appreciate her work on our Gables Newsletter. She touched the lives of so many and she will be missed. Sincere condolences to Linda's family. Richard and Brenda
Leora and Noah
Thinking of you and your family. Sending much love,
Leora and Noah
Anna Conrad Holcomb
Ellen and Brent. Linda was a dear friend of mine. We chatted alot on the phone and I stayed with her a few times when I was able to attend the RJR reunions after my husband Cecil passed away. I will miss her.
Love and Prayers, Anna