I can’t even begin to explain how my family has been impacted by the death of our beautiful, brilliant athletic daughter. I’m a conservative Christian woman who lives in Texas. My husband Forrest and I have been married for 30 years. We met at Texas A&M in November of 1984 and were married June 2, 1988. He is a petroleum engineer and I’m a former high school English teacher. I stopped working when our older daughter Ashley was born in 1991. Kirby was born January 22, 1994. Both girls were planned and loved. I was a stay at home mother through their entire lives. We attend First Baptist Church of Midland and are active in our community. Both girls were raised in a loving home with their parents. We do not have any addiction history in our family, so we were blindsided by Kirby! Her story of addiction is heartbreaking and difficult to discuss. We sent her to rehab in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa, CA in December of 2012 when she was 18. We later sent her to Florida when we learned she was using heroin. She died in a sober living home in Delray Beach, FL on February 26, 2016 at the age of 22. The cause of death was heroin/fentanyl intoxication.
Kirby was born and raised in Midland, TX. She had a brilliant mind and qualified for all gifted and talented classes. She was a talented volleyball player and played club and high school volleyball. She attended First Baptist Church where she was baptized on Mother’s Day of 2002. Kirby enjoyed working with children and she volunteered in the church nursery and for Vacation Bible School. She loved babysitting and was the first-choice sitter for many Midland families. She also loved animals and volunteered at the Lone Star Sanctuary for Animals. She enjoyed playing board games with her family and snow skiing. She also loved the beach and the many family trips we took to the Panhandle of Florida throughout her entire life. She was a loyal friend and had the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. After she moved to California for rehab, she became a member of Phi Theta Kappa for her outstanding college grades and was accepted into the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing in Galveston and also into the School of Nursing at California State University, Long Beach.
I’m moved to contribute because people like me desperately need awareness of this epidemic and I don’t want another child to die from overdose. Our family is devastated by our loss but we are doing our part to raise awareness and to put a face to heroin addiction. I’m on the board of Family Promise, a local nonprofit that works to end family homelessness and Forrest is on the board of Springboard, our local treatment facility. Ashley is involved in coaching club volleyball and is mentoring 9th grade girls through Impact.
Here are several links you can check out about Kirby:
(you can watch her tribute video on the same page as the obituary)
Story by Kim Collier