Claire G. Kirby

March 1, 1934December 8, 2018

CHATHAM- Claire (Galvin) Kirby died peacefully on December 8, 2018 at Liberty Commons Rehabilitation Center in North Chatham, Massachusetts. Claire was born on March 1, 1934 to Henry J. and Mildred (Gibbons) Galvin of Belmont, Massachusetts. Claire graduated from Belmont High School in 1951 and from Garland Junior College in 1953. She was an outstanding track athlete and talented home economics student. Following graduation from Garland, she worked in Boston at F. S. Mosely and National Research Corp in Cambridge.

On April 26, 1958, Claire married the love of her life, Paul Girard (Jerry) Kirby of Waltham, Massachusetts at her hometown parish, St. Joseph’s Church in Belmont. Claire and Jerry moved to Needham in 1961 and raised their three children on Brookline Street and Newbury Park. They lived in Needham for 30 years while Jerry had a long career at New England Mutual Life and Claire created a welcoming home for family and friends. She was an exceptional cook, an avid gardener, and a gifted seamstress who worked for many years at The Stitchery, a well-regarded needlepoint and embroidery business in Wellesley. Claire was outgoing and always busy; she was a Girl Scout troop leader, a member of the Junior New Century Club, a communicant of St. Joseph and St. Bartholomew parishes and a generous hostess.

In 1975, Claire and Jerry bought a small summer cottage overlooking Taylor’s Pond in South Chatham on Cape Cod and named it “Someday Cottage”. (All the extra household items that they had received at their wedding were stored away in boxes that Claire had hopefully labeled “someday cottage”). During the late 1980’s, Claire designed renovation plans for the cottage, and in 1990 it became their permanent home. Claire was an active volunteer with the Chatham Garden Club, The Atwood House, Holy Redeemer Church, and Taylor Pond neighborhood association. She and Jerry were inseparable companions who loved to entertain, support Bowdoin College events and travel internationally together. Claire was especially good at keeping in touch with the countless friends they made during their 60 year marriage.

Claire was predeceased by her brother Henry Galvin and her sister Jeanne Galvin. She is survived by her devoted husband Jerry of South Chatham, MA; her children Jacqueline Keady (George) of Longmeadow, MA, Donald Kirby (Liz) of Portland, ME; and Jeanne Kirby (Dave Rapaport) of Burlington, VT; and eight grandchildren, Caroline Keady Blain (John), Cameron Keady, Tara Keady, Roxanne Rapaport, Cosmo Rapaport, Claire Kirby, Evelyn Kirby and Patricia Kirby. She is also survived by her sister Jeanne’s lifelong companion Doris Nitti of Rocky Hill, CT and her sisters-in-law Helen Galvin of Milford, MA and Carol (Kirby) Walker of O’Fallon, MO.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 19th from 3 to 6 p.m. at Doane Beal & Ames Funeral Home, 260 Main St. (Route 28) West Harwich. Claire’s Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday, December 20th at 10 a.m. in Holy Redeemer Church, 57 Highland Ave., Chatham, MA. A private interment will take place in the spring at Pine Grove Cemetery, Brunswick, ME. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Eldredge Public Library, 564 Main St., Chatham, MA 02633 or to Bowdoin College f/b/o/ Paul G. & Claire G. Scholarship Fund, 4100 College St., Brunswick, ME, 04011.


  • Visiting Hours Wednesday, December 19, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Thursday, December 20, 2018

Claire G. Kirby

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Michael Cahalane

December 19, 2018

Dear Jackie,
I am so sorry to see in last Sundays Globe that your Mom has passed away. I remember her as being very pretty and so hospitable and welcoming at your Newbury Park house. Mr. Kirby (yes Sir ,at the time) was always there with a smile and nice greeting as well. They were indeed a great couple as I recall. I remember seeing you all in church at St Barts. Just like me and my family back in the day. I mostly remember your Moms greetings through the breezeway into her shiny bright kitchen offering a snack and drink and making everyone comfortable .
Give my best to your Dad and brother and sister Jeannie who I remember as being the curious cute little sister looking up to you wanting to see what you and your friends were up to. I wish you all strength at this difficult time. May your Holidays ahead be brighter with your Moms love shining down stronger than ever.
My folks have been gone for quite a while now and all I can say is I carry on with there guidance and love just like it was " back in the day".We are all made up of our parents and they continue to live and love through us.
Wishing you Jackie and everyone my sincere condolences.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.
. Mike Cahalane MikeyK