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Kirby, Clingman and Esther

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Clingman W. Kirby
October 4, 1916 - October 28, 1981
Son of Nathaniel and Minnie Mumford Kirby

Esther L. Kirby
March 17, 1919 - February 11, 2004
Daughter of John and Mary Bass Lucas


Clingman Kirby and Esther Lucas were married December 24, 1942 at Little Rock Free Will Baptist Church in Lucama. Although the wedding day was warm as spring, they woke Christmas Day with snow on the ground. Since this was during World War II, gas was rationed and they could only go as far as Raleigh for a honeymoon.

To this marriage, a son, Clingman Wayne Kirby was born on November 4, 1947.
The couple started housekeeping in a four-room tenant house next to Clingman's home place. Clingman farmed the home place and a farm two miles away. He worked at a tobacco warehouse in Wilson in the fall to supplement the farm income. He was known for the high quality tobacco he produced; when it was carried to market, the buyers always looked for it on the sale. Esther helped to prepare the tobacco for market.

Clingman was known as a good farmer and businessman. He was involved in the community, and offered help to anyone who asked him. Esther was always involved in the community. She joined the Extension Homemakers in 1949 and maintained a perfect attendance record since 1951. She was an active church member, a school volunteer, a helper at the Wilson County Fair each year, and a Tobacco Farm Life Museum volunteer.

The Kirbys worked closely with the Agricultural Extension Service and built a demonstration house in 1955. Esther made most of the drapes and when Open House was held, people came from several counties.

Son Wayne married Bonnie Hales on March 18, 1967 at Piney Grove Church in Kenly. To this marriage were born three daughters; Crystal, Cynthia, and Cammie. The family built next door to Wayne's parents. Wayne and his father farmed, raised and showed cattle, and operated a fertilizer business together until Clingman's death.  Clingman Wayne Kirby passed away on January 20, 2011.  His wife Bonnie Hales Kirby passed later that same year on September 20.

Memorial contribution by Esther Kirby and family

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