Avery Thomas Kirby
Avery Thomas Kirby, age 80, formerly a resident of Block Island, passed away from natural causes on June 30, 2021. He resided at the R.I. Veteran’s Home.
Born on October 5, 1940 in North Attleboro, Mass to Robert and Maude Kirby, and grandparents James and Ann Kirby and predeceased by grandparents Lena Tufts and Benjamin Early. The youngest of five children, Avery achieved his high school diploma in 1957 from North Attleboro High School, then went on to join the Army
from 1960 to 1965. While stationed in Germany, he achieved the rank of E4 and worked as a clerk typist, serving honorably.
After suffering a debilitating stroke that left him partially paralyzed and legally blind, Avery persevered through his disabilities to notably achieve two U.S. patents for the design of the “Independence Walker Tray.” His goal was to help others gain their independence through the use of his invention, and he did so by donating over 100 trays to other veterans. His motto was “it’s not about me, it’s about people like me” - the people he was trying to help in similar conditions.
More than a carpenter, Avery owned Kirb’s Taxi Company, serving the Block Island community for many years.
Avery’s character was steeped in the spirit of camaraderie. A loving father that was always putting others above himself, he was a true giver; he enjoyed playing billiards, cribbage, golf and attended many charitable golf tournaments. He served in the Lions Club on the Island and helped to support and mentor many in the craftsmanship of wood shingling. He was an avid surf caster and loved listening to the Red Sox games on his transistor radio. His true enjoyment was an iced-cold Bud with friends.
He is survived by his older sister, Barbra (Kirby) Childs, and predeceased by his brothers Robert B, Daniel J and Francis B Kirby. He is survived by both of his former spouses, Janice Katherine Kirby, mother of his three children, and Cindy Wilson. He is also survived by three children, Jennifer Snyder of Clive, IA, Thomas Kirby
of Block Island, RI, and Christopher Kirby of Lincoln, RI, as well as eleven grandchildren, Kelsey Reed, Kyle Reed, Ashley Menting, Thomas Kirby, McKayla Kirby, Zachary Kirby, Haley Kirby, Whitney Bystran, Caitlin Cobb, Kelsey Snyder, Molly Snyder, three great grandchildren, Mason Dean Peach, Casimir and Fern Bystran and many loving nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Avery’s life will be held Oct 2, 1 p.m. at Old Island Pub, Block Island, RI. In lieu of flowers, please send any contributions to The Mary D. Fund, Inc.