Bill Ray Kirby

Billy Ray (Bill) Kirby

WENDELL – Bill Kirby, 80, passed away August 11, 2012.  He was born on a Wilson County farm near Kenly on November 5, 1931 to the late H. Clinton and Zetta Davis Kirby.  He was a graduate of Kenly High School, the Radio and Television Institute, and Grantham’s School of Electronics. He held a FCC general radio-telephone operator’s license and an amateur (ham) radio license.

Bill worked 41 years in a number of small town radio stations in North Carolina in various capacities, including disc jockey, program manager, sales manager, station manager, and owner, making a multitude of friends along the way. After retirement, he worked part-time with Aycock Auto Auction and Capital Auto Auction.

He was active in the Wendell Lions Club for over 50 years and served in almost every elected office.  For more than 12 years, he was tail twister and was recently honored with a Jack Stickley Fellowship, the highest honor a North Carolina Lion can receive.

Bill’s first love was his church, Covenant Presbyterian, where he was an ordained Deacon and Elder, and served eight terms in the session.  He started the Young Adult Sunday school class, nicknamed “Stomp and Holler,” teaching it for many years.  New Hope Presbytery honored Bill with an outstanding older adult award in 2005.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Merle, of the home; daughter Terri Kirby Hathaway, and son-in-law, Kent Hathaway of Southern Shores; son Billy Kirby, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Susan Kirby, of Fayetteville; and grandson Cameron Kirby, currently attending the School of Law at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his brother, Mack Kirby.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 125 South Selma Road, Wendell, NC  27591.

A celebration of his life will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Friday, August 17 at 3:30 pm.  The family will receive friends at the church for two hours prior to the service.  Arrangements are being handled by Strickland Funeral Home, Wendell, NC.

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