Merritt Lloyd Kirby

Kirby, Merrit_oval (8)

August 9, 1929 ~ August 23, 2016

Merritt L. Kirby died Tuesday, August 23, 2016, at his residence the United Living Center in Brookings, SD.

Services will be held on Saturday, August 27th at 2:00pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness, 3521 US Hwy 14 Brookings, SD.

Merritt Lloyd Kirby was born August 9, 1929 in Bradley, South Dakota to Emmet and Nellie Kirby. As the fourth of six children he was raised on a farm south of Bradley. He graduated from Bradley High School in 1948 and attended mechanics school in Chicago, IL. Merritt married his wife of 53 years, Geraldine, in 1960. After suffering a back injury while repairing diesel engines he took technological training at Control Data and took a position of Data Processing Manager at Sioux Valley Hospital. Starting in 1983, he spent 15 years as manager of the Computer Department at Brooking Municipal Utilities, Brookings, SD.

After retirement from the work force in 1997, he lived in Brookings and later returned to Sioux Falls. In recent years, Merritt and Geraldine enjoyed their winters in Apache Junction, AZ, where they embraced the many brothers and sisters of the Jehovah’s Witness. He was baptized as one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1961. The couple also celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2010 in Apache Junction, AZ. Merritt and Geraldine were known as a very generous and hospitable couple who helped anyone who needed assistance or were just passing through the area.

Survivors include his children, Richard (Marialice) Arndt, Duluth, MN, Dave (Tammy) Kirby, Santa Fe, NM, and Nancy Arndt, Sioux Falls; and brother, James (Janice) Burnsville,MN; eleven grandchildren, many great and great-great grandchildren; and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine; son Bob Arndt; parents Emmet and Nellie Kirby; four siblings, Audrey (Ronald) Grigg, Ruth (Lawrence) Gebur, and Majorie (Chester) Wilkerson, and Robert (DeLores) Kirby.

Merritt’s many friends and relatives will miss his gift of gab, his thirst of knowledge, and his loving nature.

Cards or donations may be mailed to Heartland Funeral Home or given directly to the family at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness in Brookings.

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  • Stephanie Opare(Foster) says:

    I knew Merritt ever since I was a little girl. Merritt would always be quick to give a smile, a hug, or a smooth comeback 🙂 I remember when he and Geraldine moved back to South Dakota for the last time was when I moved to the Sioux Falls East side Kingdom Hall. Without hesitation, he remembered my name and asked how I was doing. He was a very nice, warm man and will be missed dearly. I feel your pain as a family and I pray that Jehovah helps you through this difficult time and helps you unite as a family to celebrate Merritt’s long, fulfilling life.

  • Mark A Mathison says:

    I’m very sorry to learn of your father’s death. Your parents were among the first to make me feel welcome when I first came to Sioux Falls. They welcomed me into their home and treated me like another son. I will always miss your parents. Take care my old friend.

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