Francis “Gene” Kirby, age 88, of New Dover, died Saturday, May 30, 2020 at Riverside Methodist Hospital. With a longtime career in AM/FM Radio since the age of 17, he established WRPO 93.5 FM Oldies Radio, based out of Russells Point, Ohio. He had a passion as a disc jockey and a radio host and was formerly associated with WDLR Delaware and WRFD Worthington. In addition to serving as radio announcer, he also worked with the sales aspect of his business. A longtime HAM radio operator, “W8BJN,” he participated with the Union County Civil Defense for many years. A 1950 graduate of Marysville High School, he was a former associate of Hall Electronics in Columbus, from where he retired in 1996. During the 1980’s, Gene was a volunteer deputy sheriff with the Union County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to his love for radio, he also offered video and audio duplicating services and especially adored his late black Labrador companion, Eddy. A veteran of the United States Air Force, he served for almost ten years. He was born September 9, 1931 in New Dover to the late Glenn and Gladys Gamble Kirby. He was also preceded in death by his son, Gary Kirby and his sister, Avonelle Guy. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara L. Osborne Kirby, whom he married in 1962; his daughter, Niki (Dave Young) Wertz of Marysville; his grandchildren, Amanda Dean, Jason Kirby and Jenean Kirby; great-grandchildren, Westin and Jolene; brothers-in-law, Robert (Diane) Osborne and Ivan Garrabrant; and nieces and nephews and other relatives. A funeral procession will form at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at Underwood Funeral Home to proceed to Mt. Herman Cemetery in Dover Township for a 1:30 graveside service with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Humane Society or WRPO Radio, Russells Point. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.underwoodfuneralhome.com.
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