IN  MEMORIAM:  JAY  KIRBY 

CARDS AND NOTES OF CONDOLENCE

MAY BE SENT TO MICHELE AND MEMBERS OF JAYS FAMILY TO:

Michele Williams

17436 Slipper Shell Way, Unit 2

Lewes, DE 1995


DONATIONS

The family request that donations be made to the Fuller Center for Housing:

By Mail: The Fuller Center, PO Box 523, Americus, GA 31709

  (Please specify in memory of Jay Kirby)

Jay's Obituary

Lloyd Junior Kirby, better known as “Jay”, passed on from this life to the next on September 23, 2019 with his wife and children by his side. He was 79.

Born on April 12, 1940 in Freemont, North Carolina to the late John Lloyd and Rebecca Jane Kirby, Jay was one of six children. His early years were spent working in cotton and tobacco fields in North Carolina and later in the chicken houses beside his father in Delaware.  He mentioned several times that he had to get up early to work in the chicken houses before school.  Through these experiences, he learned the importance of a hard days’ work as well as compassion and loyalty to family. His parents raised him to be a true southern gentleman; with manners, humility and a “country boy” accent that he never lost. 

In 1949, the Kirbys moved to Sussex County, Delaware, a place Jay would call “home” for the next 70 years.  Jay was a 1959 graduate of Millsboro High School and attended his yearly reunions. Jay went on to serve his country in the United States Navy and was stationed in San Diego, CA.

In 1961, he married his first love, Patricia Fisher of Millsboro. In 1963, while he was deployed out to sea, his first child, Treasa, was born.  Two years later they were blessed with a second child, Martin Lloyd. He considered his granddaughter, Shenika, to be one of his children as well.

As the patriarch of his family, Jay enjoyed taking an active role in the annual family reunions. He was known for his finesse in grilling a whole pig to carry on the family’s North Carolina BBQ recipe and traditions, and he especially enjoyed the fellowship among his immediate and large extended family.

Jay was self-educated and passionate about each of his hobbies. When something new interested him, he dove in, learning all that he could about that interest--nothing was done half-way. In 1981, he opened his own electronic repair store called “Hi-Tech TV Service” in Milford, as he was always skilled and knowledgeable with the latest technology. Photography, bowling, bicycling, gardening and cooking were among his favorite things to do. He was also known to be adventurous and appreciative of all types of food, a good margarita, wine tastings, and craft beer, especially a stout.

For many years, Jay was an active member of the White Clay Bike Club and the Sussex Cyclists. Jay logged in an average of 7500 miles per year.  He rode almost daily, even through the winter months. In 2013, he was awarded the Sussex Cyclists Volunteer of the Year.  The amount of flat tubes he changed for others during his riding days are countless! He was an expert! For years, he was a ride leader for several B rides a week (30 miles per ride at a moving speed of 18 mph), participated in the annual Ride of Silence and Bike to Work Day, led the Sussex County contingent of riders for the annual Legislative Ride to Dover, and volunteered for many “Safety Stops” throughout the summer. [These are stops in conjunction with DelDOT that provides helmets, lights, reflective tape, and written bike safety information to cyclists using bikes as their main mode of transport to/from work.] Jay was a task master relative to leading his group rides. Whether it was 3 riders, or 20 riders, a 10-mile ride or a 50 mile ride…. safety rules applied. And there would be no rider left behind. You started together and you finished together. No exceptions! He was personally affected when he read or heard of another cyclist that went down. As all cyclists feel saddened when we hear these stories, Jay was even more vigilant for his own safety in his solo and group rides.

Albeit quiet, modest, and gentle, Jay was fervent in supporting positive change in many social issues in our local community. Jay volunteered at the Milford Food Bank for the school lunch program. He chooses his local charity bike rides for the causes they sponsored, (ie Sussex County Meals on Wheels, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, scholarships for local Workforce Development, tourism in Kent and Sussex Counties, just to name a few). Most recently, Jay embraced the mission of The Fuller Center for Housing, a faith-driven and Christ-centered organization that works to provide adequate shelter for all people. In April, he rode the Natchez Trace from Nashville TN to Nachez Trace MS (444 miles in 7 days), and fixed homes along the way for underserved communities. He was so inspired by this experience that Jay began assisting on developing a Covenant Partnership for tiny house communities as a possible solution for workforce/affordable housing and homelessness in Delaware.

Jay is survived by his loving wife, biking partner, and best friend, Michele Williams; his children, Treasa Lednum and husband Ken of Hurlock, MD and Martin Kirby and wife Wendy of Millsboro; his sisters, Darlene Harrison (John) of San Marcos, TX, Janie Walt (Mike)  of Millsboro, and Gale Murray (Jim) of Millsboro.
He was a fun and loving grandfather to Shenika Kirby of  Milford, Rebecca Wales of Easton, MD, Martin L. Kirby, Jr., Dustin and Justin Timmons of Millsboro and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his Uncle Paul Groff and his wife Gladys of Pikeville, NC., aunt, Kathryn Goff of Goldsboro, NC, Sister-in law, Martha Kirby of Waynesboro, PA and many nieces, nephews and cousins he loved dearly.

Jay is preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife of 52 years, Patricia, his oldest sister, Earnestine and younger brother, Ray.

He was a very genuine and kind man. He was generous, humble and would never speak an ill word of anyone. Jay would find light in even the darkest of times and always brought comfort and laughter to anyone who knew him. It is for all these reasons and many more that he will be deeply missed by so many.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made online to the Fuller Center for Housing,

http://weblink.donorperfect.com/TheFullerCenterForHousing/JayKirbyTribute

or by mailing to The Fuller Center, PO Box 523, Americus, GA 31709 (Please specify in memory of Jay Kirby).

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Tuesday, October 1st at Melson Funeral Services, Long Neck Chapel, 32013 Long Neck Road, Millsboro, Delaware 19966, Phone: 302-945-9000. Family and Friends may gather at 1130 in preparation of the Celebration of Life Service to start at 12:30 pm.  If you are so inclined, you are most welcome to share a great Jay story, share a picture, bring tons of laughter, and bring a canned food good to be donated to The Shepherds Office in Georgetown.



(on the shoulder of Route 20 near Hardscrabble - August, 2015)

PHOTO COURTESY OF: MICHELE WILLIAMS

After a very courageous and tough fight, Jay Kirby succumbed to his injuries as a result of being hit by a car while riding his bike on rt 1 on Sept 11th. Although we grieve for our loss, we thank you for your vigilance, prayers, and blessings during this most difficult time. 

Michele Williams



Just wanted to say thank you for the anonymously chosen, prepared, and installed ghost bike with love and solidarity the scene of Jay Kirby accident. The bike is a vintage Schwinn LeTour Road Bike. 

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel. http://ghostbikes.org/

Many have reached out to ask about funeral arrangements. As soon as we have the Celebration of Life event planned, I will post. 

Michele Williams



Jay and Michele on their tandem


Critical Mass Ride for Jay 9/15/19

Hey there!

I made a google album that all can add photos and videos. Here is the link to share: 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/BpZSNoSdqkHSTgSv8

It was such a heartfelt ride today! 

happy riding,

Jenn Rowan

Lifecycle events/marketing & jr. wrencher

302-233-1657


Reprinted From Articles Originally Appearing in the CAPE GAZETTE ..............

Lewes cyclist Lloyd Kirby dies from injuries in Sept. 11 crash

A ghost bike is shown at the site Lloyd Kirby, Jr., 79, was involved in a Sept. 11 crash at the corner of Route 1 and Kings Highway. Kirby died Sept. 23, nearly two weeks after the crash. NICK ROTH PHOTO

September 24, 2019  [Click here for link to article]  

In 2015, Jay Kirby celebrates his 100,000th mile on a bike in just 20 years of riding. MICHELE WILLIAMS PHOTO

A Lewes cyclist died from injuries sustained Sept. 11 when he was struck by a car on Route 1 on Sept. 11.

Lloyd Kirby, Jr., 79, was riding his bicycle in the bus/bike lane on northbound Route 1 approaching the intersection of Kings Highway. A 2017 Cadillac CTS was driving in the right lane of northbound Route 1. Police said for unknown reasons, the Cadillac, driven by an 89-year-old Millsboro man, did not see the bicyclist and while changing lanes, struck Kirby’s bike and threw him to the ground. 

Kirby was wearing a helmet and the driver, who was not injured, stayed at the scene. Kirby was transported to Christiana Hospital, where he remained for nearly two weeks before succumbing to his injuries Sept. 23. 

The crash, which slowed traffic for 90 minutes, remains under investigation by Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit. No charges have been filed at this time. 

Local cyclist remains in serious condition

Bicycling community supports Jay Kirby, wife Michele Williams

By Ron MacArthur September 24, 2015 [Click here for link to article] 

Injured cyclist Jay Kirby of Lewes remains in intensive care at Christina Hospital in Wilmington following a Sept. 11 crash on Route 1 near the Kings Highway intersection.

The 79-year-old cycling advocate was flown from the scene to Christiana where he was admitted with a serious head injury.

In support of Kirby and his wife Michele Williams, who is a past president of Sussex Cyclists, Lifecycle bike shop in Milford organized a 10-mile critical mass ride Sept. 15, starting and ending at Lewes Transit Center on Route 1.

Lifecycle co-owner Jenn Rowan said in a Facebook post, “We always pay for bicycle infrastructure with blood. Let's gather for visibility, for awareness, and for the safety and lives of all cyclists. Please keep both Jay and Michele in your prayers and positive energies.”

Kirby, a Navy veteran and active member of Sussex Cyclists, has ridden more than 100,000 miles over the past 25 years, including a solo 4,451-mile cross-country trek in 2000.

Williams posted the following on social media: “I equate this to a 100-mile bike ride and when mile 65 hits, and you are just tired, and know you have 35 miles to go, you look around for your cycling buddies to let you draft and give you a break. So that you can finish strong when mile 95 rolls around.

“Jay is on a marathon to regain his health, strength and recovery. And his medical team are his cycling buddies. Right now he needs rest. And really, it is up to him to ride this ride, and we stand by to support like a SAG wagon.”

Williams also thanked friends, the cycling community, family members and others for their prayers and support. “Let's pray that tomorrow is a better day with drastic improvements after many healing hours. Pray for courage, trust, faith, healing and perfect right action, as Jay continues to ride the ride,” she said. “We are allowing medication to facilitate ventilator breathing which in turn, may help rest and heal Jay's lungs and body. And mostly, we have courage and faith, and are trusting prayers, healing energy and intentions to do God's work, all in perfect right action.”

Kirby was riding his bike northbound in the Route 1 bike lane approaching the Kings Highway intersection around 12:30 p.m., Sept. 11, when he was struck from behind by a 2017 Cadillac CTS driven by an 89-year-old Millsboro man, said Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Juanita Huey-Smith. As of press time, no charges have been filed.

The critical mass ride for Jay Kirby starts off as the skies clear up. STEVEN BILLUPS PHOTO

Spearheading the critical mass ride for Jay Kirby, along with many other bike shop owners and clubs, are Lifecycle co-owners Ben Jones and Jenn Rowan. STEVEN BILLUPS PHOTO

The Sussex Cyclists had a strong showing at the ride. Shown are (l-r) Ride Chair Bill Gorodet, Linda and Mark Snider, and Bob Brotschol. Jay Kirby was lead rider emeritus. STEVEN BILLUPS PHOTO

Jay Kirby celebrates his 100,000th mile on a bicycle during a 2015 ride in rural Sussex County. MICHELE WILLIAMS PHOTO


Bicycling community supports Jay Kirby, wife Michele Williams

Prior to the Sept. 15 ride for Jay Kirby, helmeted cyclists gather as his son Martin Kirby speaks to the crowd. Shown are (l-r) Martin Kirby, brother-in-law Bruce Fisher, and daughter-in-law Wendy Kirby. At left in white shirts are Lifecycle co-owners Jenn Rowan and Ben Jones. STEVEN BILLUPS PHOTO

Ron MacArthur  September 20, 2019 

Bike ride in support of Jay Kirby on Sept. 15

Well-known cycling advocate seriously injured in Route 1 crash

By Ron MacArthur September 13, 2019 [Click here for link to article]

Injured in a Sept. 11 Route 1 crash was Jay Kirby, 79, of Lewes, a well-known rider in the local bicycling community who is active in Sussex Cyclists. In support of Kirby and his wife, Michele Williams, former president of Sussex Cyclists, Lifecycle bike shop in Milford is organizing a critical mass ride starting at noon, Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Lewes Transit Center near Five Points.

Co-owner Jenn Rowan said in a Facebook post, “We always pay for bicycle infrastructure with blood. Let's gather for visibility, for awareness and for the safety and lives of all cyclists.”

Rowan said riders must be 18 years of age or older, wear high-visibility colors, have front and rear lights and wear helmets. Cyclists will pedal 10 mph over a 10-mile route starting and ending at the transit center.

In a Facebook post Williams said her husband suffered a serious head injury and is in critical but stable condition.

“Please keep both Jay and Michele in your prayers and positive energies,” Rowan said.

Rowan said there have been 47 bicycle crashes on Route 1 between Five Points and Dewey Beach this summer season.

Kirby, who has cycled more than 100,000 miles over the past 25 years, averages about 5,000 miles per year on his bicycle. In 2000, he completed a 4,451-mile solo ride across the country.

 

Update: Bicyclist critically injured in Route 1 crash

September 11, 2019 [Click here for link to article]

A 79-year-old Lewes man was critically injured Sept. 11 following a crash on Route 1 near the Lewes Bethany Blues.

The bicyclist was riding northbound at 12:31 p.m. in the bus/bike lane approaching the intersection with Kings Highway when he was struck by a 2017 Cadillac CTS driven by an 89-year-old Millsboro man, said Master Cpl. Juanita Huey-Smith.

The driver failed to see the bicyclist while changing lanes to make a turn onto Kings Highway, and he hit the bicyclist with the right side of his vehicle. The impact ejected the bicyclist, Huey-Smith said.

The bicyclist, who was wearing a helmet, was transported to Christiana Hospital in critical condition.

The driver was properly restrained and was not injured as a result of the crash.

Northbound Route 1 was reduced to a single travel lane for about 1.5 hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Cpl. K. Argo of the Troop 7 Collision Reconstruction Unit at 302-703-3264, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.

SALTWATER PORTRAIT

Jay Kirby: He wants to ride his bicycle – a lot

Cyclist going strong after 100,000 miles

By Ron MacArthur September 1, 2015 [Click here for link to article]

“Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like”

That 1978 Queen song should be Jay Kirby's anthem. He's ridden his bicycle more than 100,000 miles.

Anyone who is a serious cyclist knows that stands alone as an outstanding accomplishment for a lifetime of cycling. But when you consider that the 75-year-old Kirby has reached that goal in 20 years, it borders on amazing.

And this year, he expects to ride at least 8,000 miles, which will be the most he's ever done in one year. When most people are slowing down, Kirby is literally getting into gear. And don't question his figures; he's fanatical about keeping track of his mileage.

Kirby can recall most of his rides and how many miles he pedaled. “Some people say I'm obsessed, but I really don't know why I keep track. Once I got started, I have to keep doing it. I've never thought why,” he said.

Now, he lets a Garmin record his mileage, and he downloads it onto his computer. Many of those miles come as a lead rider for organized Sussex Cyclists rides. Kirby has led cyclists on most of the backroads of Sussex County.

In 1994 – the only year he did not keep track of his mileage – he started riding on a cheap Huffy bicycle. “I was huffing and puffing after three-tenths of a mile; I did not enjoy that first ride,” he said.

It didn't take long for Kirby to discover the joys and benefits of cycling, and he started commuting by bike, 17 miles each way from his home in Georgetown to his work at a TV repair shop in Milford. Kirby later was a partner and then full owner of Fisher Appliance store in Milford. The ex-smoker said he stopped the habit years before he started cycling, but he wishes he had never started.

“I was motivated to lose weight because at the time I weighed 220 pounds,” he said. “I dropped weight quickly.”

Kirby, who started out as a lone-wolf rider two decades ago, says he is overwhelmed how many people are now cycling. “It's growing by leaps and bounds. It's amazing how many bicycles are out there,” he said.

A self-professed roadie, Kirby does ride trails from time to time. He also prefers to ride with groups.

He also doesn't let a little cold weather get in the way of riding during the winter. He bought an indoor trainer, but after one year was back outside. “I hated it so bad. I would rather be on the road and be cold than be sweating inside,” he said.

Born in Fremont, N.C., he's lived in Georgetown since 1973.

A solo cross-country trek

In 2000, at the insistence of his wife, Pat, he did a solo ride across the country from Yorktown, Va., to Astoria, Ore., a total of 4,451 miles. “It was the first thing on my bucket list,” he says.

At the time, his wife had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He said the doctor told them if they had any plans, they had better get busy. His wife passed away two years ago.

He retired and the couple spent as much together as possible. She met him in St. Louis, Mo., and they spent 10 days together visiting one of Kirby's Navy buddies. They also toured the West Coast when he finished the ride.

“I felt guilty taking time away from her, but she insisted I do it. She provided so much support,” he said.

Living in flat Sussex County, he had no way to train for riding hills. “When I reached the Appalachian Mountains, I kept asking myself what have I got myself into,” he said.

During his cross-country ride in Kansas, he met up with Joe Ollinger from Salisbury, Md., who bought his bike at the same bike shop that Kirby purchased his Cannondale touring bike. The two crossed paths many times as they followed the same route using the Trans-America Trail and Adventure Cycling maps. Kirby camped out while Ollinger stayed in hotels.

Kirby was loaded down with camping equipment – which he pulled in a small trailer – that weighed about 65 pounds. Averaging 53 miles per day, he camped out 70 of the 80 days he was on his trek.

“I was a little apprehensive because I was not a camper,” he said. “But once I got into a routine, there was nothing to it.”

Near the end of his journey, Kirby left his fanny pack in a bathroom in Sisters, Ore. “I realized it a minute later, but it was too late because someone had stolen it,” he said.

The pack contained his important papers and all of his money. His friend's wife was able to get him some money, and he found out later that some forest rangers had taken up a collection for him.

“Out on the road you realize what the people of the United States are like. There are some really good people out there,” he said.

So far this year, Kirby has ridden more than 5,000 miles, which is his average per year over the past decade. Last year, he logged 7,745 miles, his highest total to date. That was even more than the 7,275 miles he logged in 2000, the year of his cross-country ride.

He doesn't sit still for long. In August, he put in some miles in New York City and is planning a ride this fall from North Carolina to Key West, Fla. He will also ride the upcoming Tour de Sussex on Saturday, Sept. 19, and as many other area bike tours he can fit in.

So why does he do it? “Obviously, it's a big plus for my health, but I also enjoy it,” he says. “It also helps to keep your mind straight.”

"Sussex Cyclists, Inc." is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

PO Box 204, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software