Brian Christopher Kirby, 46, of Steinbach am Glan, Germany, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 26, at St. Johannis Hospital in Landstuhl.
Brian is survived by his wife of 21 years, April, and their daughter Amelia, age 13. He is also survived by his parents Robert and Arlene Kirby of Syracuse, Kansas and his younger brother Alan (Sandra) Kirby of Pittsburg, Kansas. Brian is also survived by several aunts, uncles, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Brian was born February 18, 1975 in Syracuse, Kansas at Hamilton County Hospital, delivered by Dr, C. E. Peterson, the same doctor who delivered his mother 23 years earlier. He loved books, learning to read before starting kindergarten. When he was 2 ½ years old, his brother Alan was born. They spent many hours riding big wheels in the back yard, eventually progressing to a go-cart they roared around in the parking lot next to his parents’ auto repair shop. Brian loved playing little league baseball, building model rockets, and anything electronic. He learned to play the piano, playing the song “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” for Grandpa Fred and Grandma B to dance to at their 50th wedding anniversary when he was 8.
After graduating from Syracuse High School as Valedictorian in 1993, Brian attended Wichita State University, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree (summa cum laude). On a visit home in March of his sophomore year of college, Brian officially accepted Christ as his Savior, and was baptized in the river by his dad. Cold temperatures and low water flow necessitated digging out a space to be immersed, but what a memory. He lived his faith throughout the rest of his life.
Beginning in 2001, Brian spent his career as an Air Force civilian working for the medical group in Health Promotion. During his career he spent time at McConnell AFB, Ellsworth AFB, Shaw AFB, Whiteman AFB, and Ramstein Air Base. Just three months before he passed, Brian was proud to be recognized for 20 outstanding years of service to the federal government.
Brian and his family have lived in Germany over 11 years and have enjoyed traveling throughout Europe. Having grown up in his parents’ auto repair shop, Brian took much pride in knowing how to fix his vehicles and helping friends and family with their cars. Brian loved to cook and took every opportunity to prepare meals for friends and family. Brian thrived on service to others, most notably to his wife and daughter. A lifelong Christian, Brian’s faith guided his service to others and devotion to his family.
A local memorial in Germany will be held Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. at Northside Chapel on Ramstein Air Base. Stateside services will be held in his hometown of Syracuse, Kansas in mid-December. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to samaritanspurse.org in support of Operation Christmas Child.
In her father’s honor, Amelia wanted to share one of his favorite recipes with friends and family (see below).
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 teasp. baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cups milk
- 1/3 cup oil
- ¾ cup fresh blueberries
Combine wet and dry ingredients separately, then fold dry ingredients into the wet 32 times while adding blueberries. Bake 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.