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James Clinton Kirby
August 27, 1953 ~ October 12, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Jim was born on August 27, 1953 in Chelsea, MA to James C. Kirby Sr. and Jeanette “Poppy” (nee Chabot). The family settled in Glen Burnie, MD after Jim Sr. retired from the navy; and Jim graduated from Glen Burnie Sr. High School in 1971.
He graduated from the University of MD, Baltimore County in 1978 with a BA in economics and mathematics. It was during his stint here that he discovered his interest in computer programming, and also met the love of his life, Susan (nee Glass). They married on September 19th, 1981.
After working as a programmer for several years, Jim was accepted into the Wang Institute of Graduate Studies from where he graduated with a Masters of Software Engineering in 1986.
Jim and Susan’s first son, James C. Kirby III was born on February 27, 1986. The budding family moved to Tyngsboro, MA while Jim finished his masters, and then stayed on to teach for a couple of years at the Institute until the school was merged into Boston College in1988. Their second and final child, Steven Michael, was born April 9, 1986; and the family subsequently moved back to Columbia, MD, where they still reside.
After several engineering jobs in Northern Virginia and Maryland, Jim landed his dream job at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C. He holds a patent jointly with the US Navy for his work in Systems Critical Software.
Covid protocols closed the lab’s offices in March of 2019, and Jim retired in January 2020 due to his advancing Parkinson’s Disease. Thus, he never saw his workgroup again. He missed his colleagues dearly.
After retirement Jim pursued his passions for jazz, poetry, and fine literature. He was an avid Ravens fan, and a lifelong Orioles fan. He spent Sunday afternoons on the phone with his brother discussing the world and whatever in the world they thought was worthy of discussion.
Jim was a private person, and kept his illness secret to finish out his life filled with the quiet joys of ordinary living with his family. He fought the disease stoically; but on October 12, 2023, he passed painlessly, unexpectedly, in his sleep. He is survived by his wife, Susan, his sons, James and Steven, and his brother Joseph.
He will be missed more than any words can express.