Frank Larsh Mohler Kirby loved these things in his life the most: his family and friends, painting and drawing, playing tennis, and the town of Catonsville. Born June 3, 1933, in Baltimore, MD at Bon Secours Hospital, and died peacefully at home of Alzheimer’s 88 years old, June 17, 2021.
A lifetime resident of “God’s Country” aka Catonsville, MD, he was the second son of Joseph Starr Kirby (deceased) and Lily Brown Mohler Kirby (deceased). He grew up in Paradise, in a legendary home 104 South Prospect Avenue, with the loving brothers and sisters Joseph Starr “Bozie” Kirby, Jr. (deceased), John Carroll Kirby (deceased), Lily “Leelee” Brown Kirby Cummings, Mary Elizabeth “Little Bit” Kirby Grochmal, Margaret Carroll Kirby (deceased) and Mark McCormick Kirby. The Kirby and Mohler clans of aunts, uncles and cousins were people he cherished throughout his life. His family nurtured in him the humbleness, kindness, and humor that would be his trademark traits for the rest of his life.
He attended St. Mark School and was a lifetime parishioner of St. Mark Parish. It was one of the foundations of his life, where he made lifetime friends and loved it dearly for the purpose, faith and community it created for him.
He graduated from Mt. St. Joseph College in 1951, where he began to develop his skills in drawing and painting and enjoyed cartooning for the school newspaper. Art became a passion for him, one that he would pursue until his last days, always painting, sketching and drawing. He created dozens of portraits of the homes and people from his beloved Catonsville. He counted Sargent, Turner, Homer, and Eakins as some of his favorites.
He worked in the family laundry and dry-cleaning business, Kirmo, formerly in West Baltimore, through high school and college.
A third-generation graduate of Loyola College – Maryland, he earned his BA in English in 1957. He had a love of literature and books, and was an avid reader, particularly Twain, Dickens, Hemingway, Dos Passos and Hammett. Again, he gained more lifelong friends at the Evergreen campus, and always talked of his days there fondly, attending basketball and lacrosse games there over the years.
He served in the U.S. Army and the Reserves from 1958 to 1963, spending time at Fort Knox, rising to the rank of Sergeant, SP5. Frank worked 36 years as a computer programmer and systems analyst for the Social Security Administration and Medicare.
On Oct. 5, 1963, he married “the most beautiful woman he had ever seen” Constance “Connie” Elizabeth Smith of Philadelphia, PA daughter of Clement M. Smith (deceased) and Marion Cruice Smith (deceased). The marriage brought with it the passion and fun of the Smith family, and brood of brothers, sister-in laws, nieces and nephews.
Frank and Connie had a loving marriage for 58 years and spent most of them in their favorite home at 10 South Beechwood Avenue, where they raised 5 children.
Frank understood the spirit to serve his community and to give back. He spent many years volunteering as a coach or director for youth basketball and lacrosse with St. Mark’s and Catonsville youth programs, or for Catonsville Senior Center, or the Catonsville Public Library.
Many of his happiest times were spent with his family, cousins and the tight circle of friends he grew of over the years, “The Cronies” and “The Boys”. You could find them on the local tennis courts, Rolling Road Golf Course, or at Jennings Café, a beverage in-hand, and tales of shenanigans guarantied. He enjoyed travel after he retired and counted cross-country USA, Ireland and Italy among his favorite trips.
In addition to his wife, Frank is survived by his children and their spouses and partners: Bernard “Barney” Kirby and Michele Knighton, David Kirby, Sheila Kirby Myers and Jeff Myers, Christopher and Chiara Young Kirby, Dennis and Michelle Frantz Kirby, and 13 grandchildren.
As was said by the soon-to-be angel Clarence in the Capra film classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “You really had a wonderful life.” You really did Frank Kirby.
In lieu of flowers, the Kirby Family requests that donations be made in Frank’s memory to:
Bennett Blazers Adaptive sports program for physically challenged children and teens.
The Maryland School for The Blind
A Memorial Gathering will be held at St. Mark's Church, 30 Melvin Ave. Catonsville, MD 21228 on Wednesday June 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM with a Memorial Mass at 10:30 AM. Inurnment will be held at a later date at Baltimore National Cemetery.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frank Larsh Mohler Kirby, please visit our tribute store.