Charles Wayne Kirby


Kirby, Charles Wayne "Paw Paw" September 10, 1944 – June 8, 2008 On Sunday, June 8, 2008, Charles Wayne "Paw Paw" Kirby gave his life serving his community and fellow man. In the early morning hours of June 8, his life was taken suddenly operating a life flight mission. Wayne's life of service was one filled with serving in a variety of ways and places. Of course, his most recent call to service began in January 2007 when he became one of four PHI Air Med pilots on the Air Med 12 Unit Team based out of Coulter Field in Bryan. His 32-year employment with PHI began in January 1976 until Sunday, June 8, 2008. During his tenure with PHI, he served the company in many locations along the Gulf Coast in support of the oil and gas industries. Prior to joining PHI's Air Medical Unit here in Bryan, he was a pilot for PHI's operation in Cabinda, Angola, for 12 years. Wayne was born in Houston to Mamie and C.L Kirby on September 10, 1944. He was a member of Broadway Baptist Church for many years until he recently moved his membership to First Baptist Church in Bryan. He graduated from Charles H. Milby High School in 1963. After graduation, Wayne became a full time student at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas, and later was a student at the University of Houston in Houston. While a student at the University of Houston, he married Sally Jean Vinson at Riverview Baptist Church on November 27, 1965. After his tour of duty in the military, Wayne later completed a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Maryland in January 1976. Given his life of service, it seems only fitting that Wayne gave nine years of his life in the U.S. Army serving his country. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant as a field artillery officer. However, he soon fell in love with flying and later went to flight school, graduating in February 1968. After graduation, he served two aviation tours in Vietnam; one with the Air Cavalry at Tay Ninh and one with the 20th Engineering Brigade at Bien Hoa. He was honorably discharged from the Army in November 1975 after completing a tour with the 25th Aviation Brigade in Mainz, Germany. During his time in Vietnam, he received the following awards for his flying service: the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medals, a Broken Wing Award and an honorable discharge. Until the present accident, as a civilian pilot, he completed 32 years of accident-free flying service. Wayne's hobbies outside of work included motorcycle riding. He was the proud owner of two Harley Davidson motorcycles and was a member of the local Brazos De Dios Motorcycle Club. He had a love for all kinds of hunting, especially hunting deer. But no hobby or love of hobby was greater than Paw Paw's love for his grandchildren, Tyler, Hannah, Sarah and Seth. Fortunately for them and him, his last day was dedicated to creating beautiful memories with them. Wayne meant a tremendous amount to his family. Even though our loss is great, we take comfort in knowing Wayne had a saving relationship with his Savior Jesus Christ. John 1:6 reads, "Love means living the way God commanded us to live…Live a life of love." He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Louis "C.L." Kirby. Survivors include his 95-year-old mother, Mamie Margaret "NaNa" Kirby of Lovelady, Texas; aunt, Minnie Hester of Crockett, Texas; loving wife of 42 years, Sally Jean Kirby; son and daughter-in-law, Ronald Wayne and Heather Lea Kirby of Brenham; daughter Kari Ann Kirby of Bryan, four grandchildren, Tyler James Wilson of Bryan, Hannah Elizabeth Kirby, Sarah Abigail Kirby and Seth Jacob Kirby, all of Brenham; sister and brother-in-law, Shirley Ann and Gary N. Joiner of Boerne, Texas; two brothers-in-law, James Charles Vinson of Victoria, Texas, and Timothy Scott Vinson and wife, Deborah Faye, of Deer Park, Texas; and many relatives, nieces, nephews and cousins from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and California. A memorial service will be held for Wayne at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 15, at First Baptist Church in Bryan. A visitation among family and friends will be held following the memorial service in the atrium of First Baptist Church in Bryan. A later burial will follow at the National Cemetery at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. So much has been written about Wayne's service to his community and country and as important as they are, none surpasses the way in which he devoted his life to serving and meeting the needs of his family. Each member has benefited from his love and generosity. No one more so than his wife Sally. She has been battling colon cancer for the last 11 years and it goes without saying she owes him a debt of gratitude for the selfless way he went about meeting her needs. Oh how you will be missed, sweet Wayne. Our family mourns not only for Wayne, but also with the families of Jana, Stephanie and Mr. Disman. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that memorials may be made to the Building or General Fund at First Baptist