Ruth Wilene Kirby, 78, a resident of Cleveland, passed away at her home Sunday afternoon, Sept. 19, 2010, after an illness of about four months, with her husband, son and daughter by her side.
She was an active churchwoman at Bowman Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church, where she and her husband, Webb, joined 47 years ago upon moving to Cleveland.
She was a longtime employee of Life Care Center of Cleveland, serving for 36 years, most recently as medical records assistant. Through the years, she had been a hydration assistant, admissions director, activities director, and social worker.
Esmerelda Lee, campus manager for Life Care and Garden Plaza, described her as “the mother of our facility. She was a servant to others, and a friend to everyone. We can’t imagine Life Care Center of Cleveland without her.”
In 2005 she was named the winner of the Whatever It Takes customer service award for Life Care’s Eastern Division, chosen from associates in 40 Life Care buildings. Her nomination for that award stated that she “has influenced countless lives through the genuine love and concern she has shown to residents and associates. She always reads to at least seven residents on her own time before she leaves work each day, and she visits them on her days off and on weekends.”
In other professional honors, she was named Social Worker of the Year by the Tennessee Health Care Association in 1990, and Caregiver of the Year by the same organization in 2007.
At Bowman Hills church, she had served as Sabbath School leader, sang in the choir and helped with the young people. She was chairman of Advent Home, a youth group for troubled teens, for 12 years.
She was preceded in death by her son, Paul Richard Kirby.
Survivors include her husband, Haley Webb Kirby; daughter, Trish Kirby; son, Tim Kirby; brother, Melvin Maynard; granddaughter, Stephanie Kirby; great-granddaughters: Jasmine Cain and Kayla Whitaker.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Ralph Buckner Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Kirby family guestbook at www.ralphbuckner.com.