FALL RIVER, Mass. — Father Robert F. Kirby, age 81, passed away March 30 at the Catholic Memorial Home in Fall River. Father Kirby also resided in Mashpee and Apollo Beach, Fla.
Father Kirby was born April 5, 1933 in North Attleboro to the late Robert F. and Aurore M. (Boutin) Kirby. He is survived by his sister Irene M. Champagne of Attleboro and brothers in-law Gerard Champagne (late Lois), Robert Waterson (late Helen), and sister-in-law Pauline (late Donald). He is also survived by 15 nieces and nephews and many grand nieces and nephews.
Father Kirby graduated from Sacred Heart School and North Attleboro High School. He attended Cardinal O’Connell Seminary from 1951-1953 and entered St. John Seminary in Brighton to complete his studies. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop James L. Connolly, on Jan. 6, 1959 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He celebrated his first Mass on January 11 at his home parish, Sacred Heart Church, North Attleboro.
Father’s first assignment was to St. Roch’s Church in Fall River. He was later appointed assistant at Our Lady of the Isle, Nantucket where he remained until being appointed assistant at Holy Ghost Parish, Attleboro in 1966. In 1970 Father was appointed assistant at Holy Family Parish, East Taunton and was appointed administrator in 1978. In 1988 he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, New Bedford. Father Kirby was assigned as pastor to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in South Attleboro from where he retired in 1997.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 21 at Sacred Heart Church in North Attleboro. Burial followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in North Attleboro.