Rita Mailloux Kirby

19190402 –


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Rita Claire Mailloux Kirby, one of the 1st female pilots in the state of Rhode Island and a teacher in the Woonsocket and Cumberland public schools, passed away peacefully on June 23 at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, TX shortly after a visit from her beloved granddaughter, Claire Rita Kirby, also of Lubbock. Rita Claire Kirby had been living in Lubbock with her son, John Kirby; daughter-in-law Margaret Kirby and granddaughter Claire Rita Kirby. Rita was born to Leonard Hormisdas and Clara Benoit Mailloux on April 2, 1919 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. She graduated from Woonsocket High School and Rhode Island College of Education (now Rhode Island College) in 1939. She received a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University in 1949. Rita married John Edward Kirby on November 8, 1952 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and cared for him for 35 years as he suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. A devoted, lifelong Catholic, Rita Claire Kirby was a parishioner at St. Joan of Arc in Cumberland for more than 30 years and for the past 5 years had been a parishioner at Christ the King Cathedral in Lubbock, TX. Rita spent the first 87 years of her life in northern Rhode Island, living in just two houses in Woonsocket and then Cumberland. In Cumberland Rita taught at the Cumberland Hill School and then was the librarian at Cumberland High’s Transitional School. She was an avid supporter of Mercymount Country Day School in Cumberland, where she sent her two sons, the then-Cumberland-Lincoln Boys Club, Cumberland High athletics and the Retired Teachers Association of RI. Survivors include her children, John Leonard Kirby and wife, Margaret of Lubbock, Texas and Peter Lawrence Kirby and wife, Koren of Redding, CT, three granddaughters, Paige Elizabeth, Kendra Christina, and Claire Rita Kirby. She is preceded in death by her parents; spouse, John Edward Kirby on August 1, 1983. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be given to Christ the King Cathedral School, 4011 54th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79413, in care of Christy Duran.


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