Cover photo for Mary Alice Kirby's Obituary
Mary Alice Kirby Profile Photo
1931 Mary 2023

Mary Alice Kirby

October 18, 1931 — November 28, 2023

Whitman, MA

Mary Alice Kirby, the wife of the late Senator Edward (Ned) Kirby passed away on November 28, 2023.  

She was born in Canton, Ohio in 1931, the daughter of Edward and Helen Mraz. She was a loving mother and is survived by her three children:  Matthew Paul; Jane Frances de Chantal and her husband, Fares Zaki, and Thomas More and his wife, Ruthann Mackey Kirby.  

She was the proud grandmother of Liam Kirby, the son of Channette and Matthew Kirby, and the husband of Allie Kirby; Edward Zaki, married to Ticiana Temperini; Sebastian Zaki married to Jaimie Dougherty Zaki; Phillip Zaki; Christina Zaki; Max Kirby; and Susannah Kirby.  She was blessed with nine great grandchildren: Royce, Selma, Herschel, Aiden, Camden, Amelia, Kolbe, Cecilia, and Moira.  

She graduated from the Marquette College of Journalism in 1953 and started work as the Advertising Manager of the W.T. Grant Stores in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Later, in the fall of 1954 she joined the staff of "The Catholic Standard," the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. She loved to recall the very snowy day at the bus stop in Washington when a black limousine stopped to offer stranded commuters a ride; the back window rolled down and the face of Vice President Nixon appeared. "Can I give you a ride to work? I'm going as far as the Capitol."  Chatting side by side, Nixon was very interested in Catholic current events.

In 1957 she married US Army First Lieutenant Edward Kirby of Whitman, MA, in Washington, D.C. They spent the next 59 years in marriage, living in Whitman, where she joined him in his elected County and State work and supported him throughout his professional career on judicial, Pro-Life, and rail transportation issues.

She was an active parishioner at the Church of the Holy Ghost in Whitman. In 1997, she edited "A Centennial View," a history of the parish which included a review of the events, people, and activities of the parish over the century since its founding, as well as a directory of all of the parish members.  She also cherished her service as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion and her teaching in Religious Education classes.

She was the first woman to serve on the Massasoit Community College Board in 1974. She also served on Boards at Sacred Heart School in Kingston and the Plymouth Philharmonic. With the sponsorship of the late realtor Jack Conway, she planned and carried out the first Fourth of July Concert at Plymouth Harbor, near Plymouth Rock, presented with the Philharmonic orchestra, booming cannons and fireworks.

In Whitman she served two terms on the Cultural Council, the sponsor of summer park concerts, a "Shakespeare in the Park concert," school field trips, and library events. Grants go to local artists and art groups are given supplies.

With family and friends, she enjoyed many holidays and weekends at "Kirby Cabin," a small camp by a trout stream in the Green Mountain National Forest in Arlington, Vermont. Relatives and friends came for visits and vacations, enjoying picnics on the rocks by the river, and all of the special charm and personality of Vermont and its mountains.

She enjoyed painting with watercolors and playing the piano. At Christmas she baked springerle cookies with her mother's antique wooden moulds, many other German favorites as well. The Comice pear tree in her front yard brought a yearly supply of pear jam to pass around to family and friends.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a visitation on Friday, December 8, 2023 from 5-8PM in the MacKinnon Funeral Home (760 Washington St. Whitman). A Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 930AM in the Holy Ghost Church, Whitman. She will be buried in St. James Cemetery with a monument graced with a bronze plate depicting the Holy Family, created by her son Matthew.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Alice Kirby, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, December 8, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

MacKinnon Funeral Home & Cremation Services

760 Washington Street, Whitman, MA 02382

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Mass

Saturday, December 9, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

Saturday, December 9, 2023

10:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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