Southern Manateee Fire Rescue is mourning the death of our beloved Reverend Richard E. Kirby who passed away at his home in Samoset, FL.  He was 86 years old.

 He was the current Chaplin of both the East Manatee and Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District’s in Bradenton, FL.

 He began his volunteer fire service career with the Samoset Fire Department as a Fire Commissioner and Chaplin in 1982 before becoming the Chaplin at East Manatee in 1987 and Southern Manatee in 1990.  He was the Pastor of the Open Bible Tabernacle in Samoset until his retirement in 2008.  Rev. Kirby was nothing short of a Monday morning tradition at Southern Manatee.  We would check off the trucks, eat breakfast, then hang out with the Reverend.  There wasn’t much that kept him from seeing “His guys” each and every week.  Nothing dampened his spirits.  He was always making sure that we were doing well, both emotionally and spiritually, while on duty and in our personal lives.  His warm smile and clever jokes will truly be missed at Southern Manatee.

Memorial services for Reverend Richard Kirby will be held this Saturday, March 7th at Woodland Community Church, 9607 SR70 East.  Visitation/Fellowship will begin at 10am followed by the service at 11am.
Food will be served at Elwood Park Baptist Church, 3516 45th St. E. at 12:30.

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