Horace “H.L.” Kirby

March 27, 1934-Nov. 15, 2023


It is with profound sadness and much love that we mourn the passing of H.L. Kirby Jr., of Sparta, Tennessee, on Nov. 15, 2023, at the age of 89.

H.L. was a devoted husband, a wise father, a generous PaPa, a hero and loyal friend. He was blessed by being married to his best friend and the love of his life for almost 65 years, Norma Frasier Kirby. He was very proud of his two children, Aundrea and Darek. He was the number one fan of his grandchildren, Katelyn and Hunter Jack. His heart was bursting with happiness and love for his three great-grandchildren, Jayde, Kamdyn, and Korbyn.

On March 27, 1934, H.L. was born, in Sparta, to Horace L. and Elizabeth Alverson Kirby. One of his many stories he delighted in sharing was how he came into this world weighing 13 pounds. Dr. Clark put him in the car after he was born and carried him all over Bronson Bend showing off the largest baby he had ever delivered!

H.L. spent his childhood as a river rat on the Calfkiller, fishing and swimming or jumping out of trees with his buddies at their favorite spot called 50/50. As a teenager, his summers were spent working as a lifeguard at the first Sparta swimming pool, and then he continued his lifesaving at Baker Swimming Pool. This was a perfect job for H. since he had already spent so much of his life in the water.

H.L. loved playing basketball, and he was good at it, too! He was selected to play on the varsity team as a forward when he was just a freshman. The WCHS basketball team went to the state tournament that year, and then they were there again during his junior year. H. L. graduated from White County High School in 1955.

While in high school H.L. realized he needed the Lord in his life, and he accepted Christ alone as his Lord and Savior. Bear Cove Baptist Church was his church home. He served as a deacon and as the church’s unofficial maintenance man for 35 years before the church decided to reward him with a salary for the next 20 years. He asked his father-in-law, Herman Frasier, what all he should be doing at the church, and Herman told him, “Whatever you see that needs doing, then do it.” That is exactly what he did, whether it was electrical, plumbing, landscaping, cleaning, or any type of repairs. He loved the Lord and his church with his whole heart his whole life.

H.L. started working for his dad doing plumbing and electrical work for a short time. When Sparta purchased the Electric Power System, H.L. eagerly went to work with the system. He enjoyed his job so much that he worked for Sparta Electric System for the next 32 years.

H.L. loved the feel of dirt between his fingers, and every year he raised a large garden with plenty of tomatoes. Drive by his house in the summer months and one would find him either in the garden or mowing his yard! H.L. was an avid hunter of deer, turkey, and squirrel. He especially enjoyed tagging along with Larry Frasier, his friend and brother-in-law, on many hunting expeditions. H. had another love in his life besides Norma and that was University of Tennessee football! He was looking forward to watching Tennessee beat Georgia!

H.L. Kirby lived a good life.

H.L. Kirby was a good man.

Everyone who knew him was better off for the experience.

A special thanks to all those who were there for him in his last stages of life on earth. God bless you all!

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his half-brother, Jack Stewart; half-sister, Mary McCulley; son, Darek Kirby; and daughter-in-law, Kelly Kirby.

Survivors include his wife, Norma Frasier Kirby; daughter, Aundrea Kirby; grandchildren, Katelyn Kirby (Shon Lee), Hunter Kirby; and great-grandchildren, Jayde, Korbyn, and Kamdyn.

Funeral service was 1 p.m., Nov. 17, 2023, at Bear Cove Baptist Church, with burial in Highland Cemetery. Dave Shelley and Riv Temple officiated. 

Pallbearers were Charles Greene, John Newby, Notie Byrd, Robert McCulley, Mark Frasier, and Hunter Kirby.

Honorary pallbearers were Larry Frasier, Ronald Lintz, and Doug Austin.

Oak Lawn Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.