Bruce Wheat Kirbo

Published 11:30 am Thursday, December 27, 2018

Bruce Wheat Kirbo

December 22, 2018

Whether Bruce Kirbo gave the closing statement in the front of a courtroom or the Communion Meditation at the front of the church, he made sure to get the full attention of his audience.

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Sometimes that sharing involved pulling examples from his own life experiences, but that was no problem for Kirbo, a natural storyteller, who might deliver his closing statement comparing it to a lesson he learned from his parents.

Kirbo, 88, was born February 5, 1930, in Bainbridge, Ga., the son of Ben Kirbo and Ethel West Kirbo. He passed away Saturday, December 22, 2018, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Family members were by his side.

Bruce Kirbo enjoyed times with his family and friends, hunting birds or boating on the Mama Cass with his wife, Catherine ‘Cass’ and children Lillian, Bruce, Charles, Ben, and Tom.

A graduate of Bainbridge High School, the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Law School and a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, Kirbo practiced family and corporate law. He and his family lived in Bainbridge, Georgia on a piece of property he selected before he got married. In addition to his professional accomplishment, he was a devoted and long-time volunteer. His involvement went far beyond his close-knit community to numerous organizations throughout the State of Georgia and beyond. Kirbo was the senior practitioner in the South Georgia circuit. He entered the University of Georgia at the age of 16, and earned a law degree in 1951 at the age of 21. While at UGA, Kirbo made a mark as a student leader, he was a member of Blue Key and Gridiron, president of Demosthenian, and served two terms of service on the law school’s honor court. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar just a few days after his 21st birthday and, after two years of service in the military, began his successful private practice in Bainbridge. During his distinguished career, Kirbo has served as a member of the board of governors and other committees of the State Bar, as a special master for the Supreme Court of Georgia as well as a member of the School of Law’s Board of Visitors. He was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1979 and became a Fellow of the organization.

Kirbo led a lifetime of leadership, service and philanthropy to his local community. He represented the Decatur County School Board, Bainbridge City Council, served as a member of the executive board of the Bainbridge College Foundation, and as president of the Kiwanis Club.

Rev. Stephen L. Webb officiated at Kirbo’s funeral services held at 11 a.m. Monday, December 24th at First Christian Church in Bainbridge Georgia.  Interment followed at Oak City Cemetery with his grandchildren serving as active pallbearers.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Catherine “Cass” Cirafisi Kirbo; his children, Lillian Kirbo Ansley and her husband, Gene, of Atlanta, Ga., Bruce W. Kirbo, Jr. and his wife, Nancy, of Bainbridge, Charles G. Kirbo and his wife, Becky, of San Antonio, Texas, Ben J. Kirbo and his wife, Jennifer, of Tallahassee, Fla., and Thomas H. Kirbo and his wife, Vickie, of Atlanta;  17 Grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.  Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Ben Kirbo and Ethel West Kirbo, his son, Robert David Kirbo; his sisters, Katherine K. Smith, Susie Ruth K. Player, Naomi K. Cook, and Carolyn K. Lucas; and his brothers, Jack Kirbo, Joe Kirbo, and Charles Kirbo.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to Decatur County YMCA, 1818 E. Shotwell St., Bainbridge, GA 39819, (229) 243-0508.

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