Donna Sue McCown-Kirby
July 12, 1941 – June 9, 2021
“And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Donna Sue McCown-Kirby died on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. She would have been 80 in just a few weeks.
Donna was born in Cairo, Illinois. She lived in various other areas including North Florida; Macon, Georgia; St. Louis, Missouri; Greenville, South Carolina; and Asheville, North Carolina.
Donna met Edward Kirby when they were teens in St. Louis. They were married in 1959. They were married for 22 years and had five children. Ed died in 2009.
One of our favorite memories as children was Mother reading to us. She was an avid reader and passed her pleasure in books on to us.
Donna always loved learning. She returned to school and earned an AAS degree in Business Administration from AB Tech and attended UNCA for four years majoring in Communications and Art.
Donna had a very dramatic personality and put that to use performing in various Shakespeare plays with the Montford Park Players and other local theater productions in the Asheville area during the ‘80s and ‘90s. We have seen her dramatic flair when she had parts on the Theocratic Ministry School.
Unable to walk for the past three years, Donna was more recently known for her colorful patterned pictures that she handed out liberally.
Even as a child, Donna wanted to understand the Bible. In the early 1960s, when she was living in a suburb of St. Louis, Alice Whitney came to her door and answered some of her big questions. Donna began studying the Bible, attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall, and enthusiastically sharing the new things she was learning.
Donna’s husband believed he had escaped all of that when he accepted a job in Greenville, SC and then moved the family again to Asheville. But each time Donna found a local Kingdom Hall and continued to learn and made new friends.
Donna was baptized on September 14, 1968 in the basement of the Asheville Orange Street Kingdom Hall. There is a small concrete pool built under the stairs just for baptisms between assembly times. Not many were in attendance in the very small basement, but it was a very memorable event in Donna’s life.
She enjoyed the privilege of Vacation Pioneering, spending many hours in the ministry with friends, sharing what she had learned.
Despite struggles with physical, mental and emotional illness, Donna never stopped learning new things from the Bible and sharing what she learned.
We appreciate the many friends in Asheville and Swannanoa that helped Donna and her children in various ways, especially for providing transportation to meetings and service. Mother did not get her driving license until about 1975. We are grateful to the brothers and sisters for all their help in the ‘70s and later as our mother aged.
We especially want to thank Don Anderson, Saundra Jones, Deron McQueen, Manoah Giese and so many more!
We will never forget Ruth Smith, Delores Michaels, Barbara Anderson and others who are no longer with us for their patience, love and support.
Donna Sue McCown-Kirby is survived by five children; Clifford Kirby and his wife Carla, Laura Lee Kirby-Peterson and her husband Jon, Lynn Fitzpatrick, Kenneth Kirby, and Shannon Miller.
She leaves three grandchildren; Erik Peterson, Rhiannon Miller, Johnathon Fitzpatrick and his wife Katrina and one great-grandchild, their daughter Harper Gwen Fitzpatrick.
She is survived by her sister Sally McCown Bridger, brothers Timothy McCown and David McCown, and many nieces and nephews.
She is predeceased by her sister Georgia McCown Statum and brother Michael McCown.