Charles “Lee” Kirby, age 80, passed away at his home in Red Mesa, Colorado on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
Lee grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, New York with his father, Charles, mother, Jean, and sister, Dee. After graduating from high school as valedictorian, he set out for adventure in the desert Southwestern town of Socorro, New Mexico. There, he attended the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where he studied mathematics and met Evelyn, the pretty rancher’s daughter who would become his wife of 58 years. On graduation, he and Evelyn moved south to Las Cruces, where he began his professional career at White Sands Missile Range working as a radar technician. His thirty-three-year career would culminate with managing a group of talented programmers who developed the first computer-simulated wargames.
Beyond the office, Lee was a loving father to Kim and Justin, a skilled shade-tree mechanic, an extreme DIYer, and a brewer of fine craft beers. Though formerly a city-slicker, his life would be defined by deep ties to agriculture. First, with a pecan and fruit orchard, planted and farmed with his young family in Las Cruces. And next, on a cattle ranch in Radium Springs. Never one to shrink from a big project, he and Evelyn would build three beautiful homes from the ground-up over the course of their long marriage. Throughout it all, he still found the time to help his daughter, Kim, build her home (he really liked building homes!) and assist his son, Justin, with remodeling his house.
Believe it or not, he still found time for skiing, hiking, rafting, and world travel!
Lee had a sly wit, a mind as sharp as a tack, and a kind, compassionate spirit. His life was a whirlwind of activity, yet he found time to stop and smell the roses. To say he lived a full life is an understatement. Everyone who knew him is the better for it. His family asks that Lee be remembered with a donation in his name to the charity of your choice.