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LTC Bobby Jay Kirts
December 9, 1944 ~ September 13, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
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LTC Bobby J. Kirts (78) passed away on September 13, 2023. He was a loving husband, supportive dad, adoring grandfather, and generous friend. Born in Stillwater, Oklahoma (Go, Pokes!) in 1944, Bobby faithfully served his family and his country through an adventurous story with the love of his life, Mary, aka Virgie. Together they traveled the world and raised two daughters, Becky and Dana. Highlights of their tours included Texas, Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Germany, West Point, Saudi Arabia, and retirement from Fort Monroe, Virginia.
Bobby is preceded in death by his parents, Nellie and Josephus Kirts; his sister, Mary Jane Work; and parents-in-law Bob and Frances Truman; brothers-in-law, Richard Daylong, Robert Truman and Ron Work. He is survived by his wife, Mary Kirts; daughters, Becky Reichart (Ron) and Dana Kirts Snapp (Mike); his grandchildren, Katie and Zach Griggs, Nathaniel Reichart, Molly Kirts Patterson, Brent Snapp, Bryce Snapp; and his great-grandchildren, Wilder and Mary Juniper Griggs; his sister, Susan Daylong; in-laws Don Truman (Nancy), Morita Truman and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Bobby learned to walk holding on to a grocery cart in his parents’ grocery store, Kirts Grocery, in Enid, Oklahoma. He learned to work hard and to love neighbors generously. His sisters, Susan and Mary Jane, would proclaim him mischievous but loved him dearly even when he accidentally ran over the kittens with the lawn mower. Bobby enlisted in the Army and deployed to Vietnam where he was shot on his mother’s birthday. After hospital recovery in Japan, he flew to Enid and Becky was born in the next year. He then served a second tour in Vietnam, moved to Georgia and daughter, Dana, arrived.
Bobby danced his way through the soundtracks of life to 70’s and 80’s country music which was and still is THE best country music. Weekly dancing dates with Mary during Becky and Dana’s teen years set an example of joy and love even when they referred to all of their dancing friends as The Harem. In Saudi Arabia, they taught country western classes on post. Dad would break into dance spontaneously and we loved to be his partner.
Bobby and Mary’s homes and tables were always open to those needing a place. They welcomed numerous cadets at West Point to include Ron who became Becky’s husband and their first son. A chair was added for Dana’s husband, Mike, who shared his love of country and big trucks. They welcomed Katie’s husband, Zach, with evenings of sugar cookie baking and decorating. Even hospital rooms became tables of their own with nurses, doctors, custodians, and aides whose names they faithfully learned and remembered.
Grandpa bursted with pride watching Katie’s, Nate’s and Molly’s games, plays, band concerts, and volleyball. He loved to eat out (footing the bill no matter how hard we tried) for time laughing and being together. GrandBob delighted in holding, reading to, and playing with his great grandkids, Wilder and MJ.
Bobby was generous in so many ways. He loved big and he gave big. He gave cars to his kids and grandkids. He shaved his head in support of Mary when chemo took her hair. He loved to shop and often could not wait until the event to give the gift. Showing up at his house, he would say, “Just a minute,” and then hand you an unwrapped present with pure joy on his face. He’s built playgrounds for churches, donated to Elf Patrol, assisted his family in hard times, loved to feed the hungry, and shared his truck anytime we asked.
Bobby was a soldier by profession who never retired, still working at age 78 to help educate soldiers around the world with Army Training Information System. He was a hero soldier in his family protecting, fighting hard, training and serving them well. Hooah! Go Army, Beat Navy!
A celebration of Bobby's life will take place 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at the Northside Christian Church Student Center, 1300 George Washington Mem Hwy, Yorktown, VA 23693.