Richard L. "Rocky" Kirby was born August 20, 1933 at Salem, SD to Charles and Blanch (Welch) Kirby. He grew up at Salem attending St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from Salem High School. On March 27, 1951 he married Juanita Kelley. They resided in Spencer where he owned Spencer Grain Company. He served as Spencer’s Mayor for 10 years, served on the Spencer School Board and the city board for many years. In 1999 he and Juanita moved to Mitchell where he was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He was a long time member of the South East South Dakota Grain Managers Association. He was a proud Irishman, Democrat, an avid fisherman and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren play sports.
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Juanita, one son, Todd (Shelli) Kirby, Salem; two daughters: Nancy (Russ) Eich, Brookings; Colleen (Paul) Mentele, Alexandria; three sisters: Patricia Mader, Crooks; Janet Arens, Rapid City; Rose Anna Curtis, Austin, TX; sister-in-law, Loretta Kirby, Salem; eight grandchildren: Scott Eich, Kelly Mentele, Gregg Mentele, Nick Mentele, Kyle Kirby, Molly Nagelhaut, Morgan Kirby, MiKenzie Kirby and nine great grandchildren: Dylan Mentele, Brandon Mentele, Gage Mentele, Haliee Mentele, Isabel Mentele, Annalyn Mentele, Mikayla Eich, Madison Eich and Megan Eich.
He was preceded in death by four brothers: Tom, Bobby, Charles, Elmer and one sister, Peggy Townsend, seven brothers-in-law: Joe Kaskie, Leonard Warner, LeRoy Kelley, LeRoy Muters, Bud Mader, Miles Curtis, Don Townsend, four sisters-in-law: Ruth Kelley, Eileen Kirby, Lorraine Kirby and Leona Kirby.