McCoy resident Edith Kirby died Sept. 4, 2007, following a car accident at the intersection of Colorado Highway 131 and Antelope Road near McCoy. She was 91.
Edith Ricetta Rossi was born in Oak Creek on Sept. 18, 1915, to Marino and Anna (Flaim) Rossi. She was the youngest of five children. The family ranch was on Hunt Creek, west of Yampa. Edith attended Heart Mountain School until the 9th grade. Even as a child, Edith was a hard worker. She and her brother Guido were responsible for milking the cows, and she would make money by taking milk, eggs and butter to Crosho Lake. Edith also gave children horseback rides and would row boats for fishermen. In the winter, she delivered food and mail on cross-country skis.
In 1942, Edith went to Denver and worked at Gates Rubber Company during the war, but soon returned home because her parents were in poor health. In June of that same year, she met Ronald Kirby at a dance in Toponas. Ronnie was home on leave from the U.S. Air Force, where he was stationed in Washington and Idaho. They were married in Mt. Home, Idaho, on March 18, 1944. Soon afterward, Ronnie transferred to the infantry and was sent to Germany. Edith joined the American Legion, thus beginning her lifelong involvement with the community. On Feb. 12, 1945, their son LeRoy was born; a daughter, Karen, followed on May 22, 1946.
Ronnie and Edith moved to the Kirby Homestead on King Mountain on April 13, 1946, where they raised sheep and cattle. They bought the ranch in McCoy in 1958 and moved there permanently in 1962. In 1960, Edith began working at the McCoy school as a custodian. She retired in 1985.
Following her retirement, Edith was a tireless community volunteer. In July 2002, Edith was honored with the Centennial Award for Volunteerism, sponsored by former Gov. Bill Owens.
On June 9, 2000, Edith lost her beloved husband, Ronnie, after 56 years of marriage.
Edith strongly believed in family and community. She hoped future generations would bring about love, compassion and concern for one another. She believed you should help and be nice to your neighbors and assist them with whatever they might need.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronnie; parents, Marino and Anna Rossi; brothers, Louis and Guido Rossi; and sisters, Mary Schakel and Emma Anderson.
Edith is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, LeRoy and Charlene Kirby of McCoy; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Jim Schmitt of Yampa; grandson Rick and his wife, Jennifer, of McCoy; grandson Travis and his wife, Lindsey, of McCoy; three great-grandchildren, Taylor, Jed and Colton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Kirby and Schmitt families would like to thank those who attended Edith's funeral. The food, flowers, memorial contributions and prayers that have been sent at this time of great sorrow are greatly appreciated.