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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Tony Lynn Kirby

Tony Lynn Kirby, 67, passed away on January 29, 2024, in Ocala, FL.

He was born in Ardmore, OK, on March 4, 1956, to Jackson and Lorene Kirby. He was married to his wife Karen for 22 years, and they shared a son, Cassidy (Mac) Kirby. Tony also has a beautiful daughter, Krystle Kirby, who is the mother of his two precious grandsons, Ezra and Atlas.

In addition to his wife, children, and grandsons, Tony is survived by his brother Willie {Donna) Kirby; aunts Carrol Maxwell, Nadine Melton, and Dorothy Pulis; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Tony became deaf because of medications given for high fever. His parents sent him to Jane Brooks Oral School for the Deaf {JBS) in Chickasha, OK. While attending school, Tony’s mother attended University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma {USAO) to become a Teacher of the Deaf. He was well-rounded athletically during his youth through high school. He was mainstreamed at Chickasha High School and graduated in 1985 with honors.

Tony continued his education with a baseball scholarship at USAO, then transferred to East Central University, where he excelled academically, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. He returned to USAO, receiving his second Bachelor of Science degree in Deaf Education, and was recognized on the Dean’s List. Years later, Tony received his Master of Education in Deaf Education/Deaf Studies at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.

Tony played softball with the Southwest Athletic Association for the Deaf Softball and was awarded First All-Star Team Player in 1985 and 1986. He loved working with deaf and hard-ofhearing people. He worked as a Job Placement Specialist at the Tulsa Speech & Hearing Center in Tulsa, taught American Sign Language on the side, and worked as a Case Manager at Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio. Tony last worked as a manager at the Resource Center for Deaf /Hard of Hearing at Tulsa Community College in Tulsa. He was awarded Outstanding Disabled Oklahoma Employee/Professional of the Year in 1987. In addition, Tony was an adjunct ASL Instructor at San Antonio Community College and Tulsa Community College and then a Deaf Education teacher.

Tony loved being involved with the Deaf Community, volunteering in various activities and events, attending JBS reunions, giving presentations around the country, and attending and participating in leadership opportunities in deaf organizations and his church. His great sense of humor, his talents as a mime, and hobbies such as dancing, skiing, and traveling were his pleasures in life. Tony was a diehard Oklahoma University Sooner’s football and women’s softball fan. Not a game missed if he could help it, anywhere! He proudly wore his OU shirt wherever he went.

Tony was well respected & loved by all: family, friends, classmates, coworkers, former students, interpreters, and church. Tony was a devout Christian, growing up in the Assembly of God Church in Chickasha and attending other churches wherever he lived. He was an active member and participated in Bible Study at the Oxford Assembly of God Deaf Church in Florida.

Tony was predeceased by his parents, Jackson and Lorene Kirby, brother, Ron Kirby, sister, Delores Kay, and grandparents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to the following: Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (ok-oad.org) Oxford Assembly of God Deaf Ministry (oxfordag.org), 12114 US Hwy. 301, Oxford, FL 34484 Harbour Retreat, c/o Julie Grisham, 5325 Smokey Ridge, Fort Worth, TX, 76123, or jegrisham@gmail.com for more information.