Lewis's Story

JONESPORT - Lewis F. Kirby, 90, died Oct. 26, 2014 at a Milbridge healthcare facility. He was born in Jonesport Oct. 1, 1924, the son of the late Lewis B. and Frances Evelyn Kirby.

He attended Jonesport schools and graduated from high school in 1941. After graduation he worked in the family lobster business until enlisting in the Army Air Corp in November of 1942. After completing basic training, he did cadet training and one year at Grove City College. His first three levels of flight training were completed at: Maxwell Field, AL, Bennettsville, and then Shaw Field at Sumter, SC. His advanced flight training was at Freeman Army Air Field in Seymour, IN in March of 1944.

After graduating from pilot training, he was assigned to the 1st fighter group, 94th Fighter Squadron, known as the Hat in the Ring Squadron. His group of eight pilots deployed from Norfolk, VA to one of the several airfields near the Plains of Foggia, Italy where he was assigned to the 15th Air Force. He flew a P-38 Lightning Fighter on more than 50 missions with the United States Army Air Force Fifteenth Air Force as part of the strategic bombardment campaign against Nazi Germany in 1944 and 1945 until separation from the Army Air Corp in June of 1945.

He met Emma Ann (Armstrong) of Machias in 1947, and they married on April 24, 1949. They were married for sixty-five years. He returned to Jonesport to the family business of transporting, buying lobsters, and seining for herring. He assumed control of the family business, L.B. & L.F. Kirby in 1956, which he continued to run until he retired. He then turned the business over to his son, Michael Kirby, and could still be seen in the parking lot, keeping an eye on the industry. He was active in town politics, serving several terms on both the Jonesport School Committee, and the Board of Selectmen.

He is survived by his wife, Emma Ann (Armstrong) Kirby; a daughter, Janet K Crowley and husband, Bruce, and their daughter, Maegan L Crowley; a daughter-in-law, Lynne F. Kirby, a grandson, Jacob Michael Kirby, nephews, Daryl Young and John Cary Young; niece, Carol Colby and her family, many Smith cousins, and many friends. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a son, Michael L. Kirby and a sister, Barbara Young.

In his later years he showed great concern for his grandchildren always inquiring about their activities, interests, school, work, and whereabouts. He was very proud of their accomplishments. His hobbies included model airplane construction and flight practice with family members at Deblois.

Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at the Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church, Jonesport, with Rev. Phyllis W. Merritt officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church or to the Ark Animal Shelter, 60 Barber Lane, Cherryfield, ME 04622. Arrangements are in care of McClure Family Funeral Services, Machias and Lubec.
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