Stephen P. Kirby

Date of Passing:

October 26, 2021

Kirby, Stephen P., 70, of High Street, Barrington, died unexpectedly on October 26, 2021 at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence.

Born in Providence, a son of the late Walter J. and Mary E. (Rynn) Kirby, he lived in Barrington for 35 years previously residing in East Providence.

Stephen graduated from East Providence High School, Class of 1968, Rhode Island College Class of 1972 and then went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Mr. Kirby was a teacher for the East Providence School Department from 1972-1990. He was an Assistant Principal at John F. Horgan Elementary School, West Warwick from 1990-1992, Principal at John Greene Elementary School, Warwick from 1992-1994 and was Principal at Cedar Hill Elementary School, Warwick from 1994-2009.

Stephen was a former communicant, Organist-Director of Music at St. Peter’s Church, Warwick from 1974-1977. He was a communicant, Organist-Director of Music at St. Luke’s Church from 1977 until present.

Mr. Kirby was a member of the Barrington Cemetery Commission and the Greater Tiverton Community Chorus. He was a former member of the St Luke’s Parish Council and the Rumford Lions Club.

Stephen enjoyed music, traveling, reading, entertaining and spending time with his loving family and friends.

He is survived by two sons, Kevin P. Kirby and his wife Jaclyn of Mansfield, MA and Brendan J. Kirby of Riverside; a granddaughter, Caroline G. Kirby of Mansfield, MA; sister-in-law, Jeanne L. Babula and her husband Michael of Warwick. He was the former husband of Colleen L. (Lynch) Kirby of Warren.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial in St. Luke’s Church, Washington Road, Barrington on Wednesday November 3, 2021 at 10 a.m. Calling hours and flowers are respectfully omitted. Contributions in Stephen’s memory to St. Luke’s Church, 108 Washington Road, Barrington, RI 02806 or Cedar Hill PTO, 35 Red Chimney Drive, Warwick, RI 02886 would be deeply appreciated.

Online Condolences


  1. To Kevin, Brendan and family,

    We are so sorry for this great loss and will keep you in our prayers. May his memory be a source of comfort and warmth to you all.

  2. We are deeply saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Steve. He was the principal at Cedar Hill, the elementary school my children attended. Steve breathed so much life and fun into Cedar Hill during his tenure there. He was a kind, fun, and above all, fair man. His larger than life effect on the school community will never be forgotten. Our deepest sympathies to his two sons, whom he spoke of often and lovingly. Sing with the Angels, Steve.

  3. Dear Kevin and Brendan
    We are so sad to hear of the passing of your dad. He was an amazing man with a huge heart. He made mass that much more special with his talents and beautiful voice. He always had a smile to share, especially when it came to children. My daughter Kendra was a part of many school and church masses and cantatas. Steve always showed up with 150% and many times with both of you by his side. I have no doubt you will both keep his memory alive; he is so much a part of both of you. We pray our condolences bring you comfort, and our prayers ease the pain of your loss. Your dad will be truly missed.
    Ruth, Evan. Scott and Kendra Maille

  4. Our sincere condolences to the Kirby family. We met Steve on our Alaskan trip a few years ago. We were a group of ten & invited him to join us since he was traveling alone. We all enjoyed his company & he gave us many laughs . We even entered him in a DWTS competition on the ship & he came in 2nd. So happy to have met you Steve & reading all the love & kindness you brought to everyone who knew you . We stayed friends on FB since that time & loved reading his joyful words about his beautiful Caroline. Just wanted to share our story with his family . He was a person not to forget . ❤️?

  5. We are so saddened by the loss of Stephen. He was always so open and inviting for us to participate in local NPM musicians events both as individuals and as a couple. Whether it was a personal invitation for a get together at his place, or a personal phone call to chat about various ideas, going out for a meal with “the gang” after a music event, or sharing the Bass section at a choral reading session. We will always remember his gracious hospitality, as well as his fine musicianship. He filled in at our parish of St. Aidan on numerous occasions and they loved it when he was there. RIP to our good friend. Our sincere condolences and prayers to his family.

  6. My condolences to Mr. Kirby’s family.
    As a teacher starting out many years ago, Mr. Kirby was so helpful and encouraging.
    I will always be very appreciative for all that he did for me.

  7. Steve’s music was a blessing to all of us atSt Luke. I will miss his warm smile and musical talent. My condolences to all his family and family and friends. ?

  8. My heart and prayers are with your family. Steve was such a kind and thoughtful person and a truly fabulous musician. He will be missed at St. Luke’s.

  9. Stephen was such a kind and caring man. Three of my children attended Cedar Hill School where he was Principal. He transformed it to a wonderful elementary school. The end of the year plays were spectacular productions that will be a lifelong memory! He was truly a talented and special man . He will be missed but always remembered.

  10. Kevin and Brendan…
    My deepest condolences to you both, on your dear dad’s passing. I first met Steve over 50 years ago,at EPHS,as members of the Meistersingers.My junior and his senior year, at our Christmas Concert, we sang a song together. He had such a rich and beautiful voice! Fast forward many years, we re-connected when our children Kristin and Jared were in your grades at St. Luke’s and then on to LaSalle. Your dad was their Choir Director and then mine for two years. So many beautiful memories! May you both have comfort,in knowing that your dad is in heaven with our Lord,singing with the choir of angels!! Keep singing Steve…and may you forever Rest In Peace.

  11. I am devastated to hear this terrible news! Steve was my principal at Cedar Hill for many years. He was not just a boss, he was a friend. He always spoke of his amazing family, especially his boys and his beautiful granddaughter.
    You are all in my my thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.
    May you Rest In Peace Steve.

  12. To Brendan, Kevin, Kirby Relatives and Friends our hearts are deeply saddened hearing Stephen passed on. Before moving to Florida, we always tried to attend mass when he played. He was like family being the close proximity of Kirby neighbors. He always took the time to speak with us. There is no one I know who enjoyed everything he did in life with such enthusiasm. May You Rest In Peace Stephen.

  13. Kevin, Brendan and family ….
    When we heard the crushing news about your Dad’s death, we were heartbroken. Steve has been part of our family for 35+ years. Whether he was directing Kelly and Meagan in his Children’s Choir days, at our weddings or memorials, Steve has always been a faithful friend! Steve will be greatly missed but I am confident that right now he is in God’s arms. We will forever have him in our hearts! Our deepest condolences, Janet and Peter

  14. To the Kirby Family,
    My heartfelt condolences
    He was a great soul
    An angel on earth
    May you find comfort in all your memories of this good man

  15. My deepest and most prayerful sympathy to Mr. Kirby’s family and friends. He was a dear colleague of mine and a mentor early in my musical career. We worked many rehearsals and performances together and I thank him for his kindness. I hold onto many fond memories of our lunches at Gregg’s and his willingness to undertake a young musician. He will be missed.

    Kyle P. Jameson, KHS

    Organist/Music Director-Saint Ann Catholic Church, Providence
    Former Director of Music-Saint Matthew Church, Cranston (2013-2020)

  16. Words cannot express what many of us former colleagues of this funny, caring, exuberant, intelligent man could say. He was a natural educator and leader of children. His talents were endless. He could find humor in the most mundane situations. Teaching with him was never dull. His funny stories kept us laughing. He had such a positive view on life. His students were in awe of him. He shared his musical talents when ever needed and with absolute joy. His parishioners must be devastated as they all loved him. He will be missed by those who had the privilege of knowing this remarkable human being.

  17. My condolences to the Kirby family for the heartbreaking loss of their dear father.

  18. When I was in 6th grade at Cedar Hill Elementary School, Mr. Kirby cast me as a major roll in our school play. He was the first person who truly saw something in me that was more than what I saw in myself. He single handedly broke me out of my shell and forever changed my life. I will be forever grateful. My sincerest condolences to his family, and may God truly bless Stephen P. Kirby.

  19. Our deepest condolences to the Kirby family. It is so sad to hear of his passing.

  20. I am so sorry to hear the news of Steve’s passing. He was my principal at Cedar Hill for many years. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
    Margi White

  21. My sincere condolences to the Kirby family. Steve you will be sorely missed by so many folks. We have come a long way from East Providence High where we both enjoyed being part of their music programs. You and I also continued sharing our love for music within the Church as Music Directors /Organists/Choir Directors. Your legacy within the community is far reaching, rich and full. You touched the lives of so many folks in a dramatically positive fashion. May you Rest In Peace, as you sit with the Father at his right hand, in Heaven.

  22. Kevin and Brendan…

    I was shocked to learn of your Dad’s passing.. He and I taught together at Platt-Watters schools in East Providence, many years ago.. he was a remarkable man … and good friend… his musical talent was exceptional… I so enjoyed and looked forward to his playing and singing at St. Luke’s…His spirit and goodness will remain alive in the hearts of those who knew him… my sympathy to you both.

  23. So very sorry for your loss.
    Our Hearts are broken for you and your loved ones.
    Such a loss. No words can convey our feelings.
    God Bless you all.

  24. So very sorry for your loss.
    Our Hearts are broken for you and your loved ones.
    Such a loss. No words can convey our feelings.
    God Bless you all.

  25. So very sorry for your loss.
    Our Hearts are broken for you and your loved ones.
    Such a loss. No words can convey our feelings.
    God Bless you all.
    Pat and Tom Weaver and family

  26. We are so very sorry to learn of Steve’s passing. We looked forward to hearing him sing and play at mass and especially at the holiday masses. Rest in peace Steve and our sincere condolences to the family.

  27. Mr. Kirby was such a big part of my elementary life. From the chorus director to a confidant. We stayed in touch, laughing at my Always off key singing that he always said was “Not that bad”. My deepest condolences to the entire family. Mr. Kirby was larger than life to me! He is gone to soon, but I am sure he is already directing the choirs in heaven.

  28. I will always remember Steve’s dedication and talent seeking new musical horizons over many years of joyful Cantatas at Christmas & rocking St Luke Church with the gospel choir sound on Easter morning. I have very special memories of Steve & St. Luke’s choir singing at VJ’s 60th birthday celebration and tearful memories of the beautiful music he and the choir performed at her funeral. Peace to Kevin, Brendan, the extended family & Steve’s choir family. Godspeed Steve!

  29. I feel such a sadness for your loss. Steve and I worked together many years at Cedar Hill and had such a great relationship. He was kind and generous to a fault. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with Caroline, his pride and joy.

  30. I am very sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a talented musician as well as a kind person to me and my family.

    Steve was in the Rumford Lions club with my Dad and while they were not similar in age, he became an associate and friend to my father. Steve was also the organist at my wedding nearly 40 years ago and my wife and I are still talking about how his performance made our day even more special!

    My sincere condolences to Kevin, Brendan and your families

  31. Brendan and Kevin, I stare at a blank page not knowing how to put 4 decades of friendship into something that makes sense when nothing makes sense. Please know I will be consoling you in the silence of my heart as if your were my own kids when their Dad died. Memories that your Dad left us mean he will continue to be present, just in a different way.

  32. I am so sorry to hear of this loss. Steve was a foundational part of the St. Luke’s Parish. Steve performed my wedding music beautifully in April and he was such a kind person to work with.

  33. My sympathies to all who will miss him. He touched so many lives.

  34. Our deepest condolences to Steve’s family, especially Brendan and Kevin. Our heart breaks for you.
    With sympathy and prayers.
    The Hanna Family

  35. My heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences are sent. Rest In Peace, dear friend.

  36. Deepest sympathy to my colleague’s family and friends. I will miss Steve’s music abilities, his creative leadership in the Organists Guild, our occasional dinners together, and all the laughs! Until we see you again, my friend. . . . Peace.

  37. Rest in Peace, dear friend.

  38. Rest In Peace dear friend and colleague, my prayers are with your family in this time of mourning and deep loss.

  39. I am heartbroken to see this dreadful news. I taught with Steve for many years and have stayed in touch with him since I retired. My deepest sympathies to his sons , of whom he was so proud.

  40. We loved your music Steve ! And remember your family and sons . Rest In Peace Steve . You will be missed .

  41. I. will remember Steve fondly. We sang together at GTCC, and traveled to Ireland where we shared meals and a horse and buggy ride with many laughs and surrounded by beauty. I will keep him in all the beautiful music and happy moments we had the joy to experience. Peace to your heart.

  42. I am so saddened by the loss of a beautiful musician and friend.
    My love and prayers to his sons.

  43. I cannot say how saddened I am. He was a beautiful musician and friend.
    My love to his boys and the granddaughter who was the apple of his eye

  44. So sad for this loss. Steve is directing the angels in beautiful song now in Heaven. Kevin and Brendan please accept our deepest sympathy.

  45. Steve was such a big part of our lives for close to 40 years, we still can’t believe that he’s gone. Music was important to him and his passing reminds us of some old lyrics. ‘The song has ended, but the melody lingers on…’ Steve and his song have ended, but his memory lingers on. Thanks for the memories, Steve

  46. My sincere condolences to Brandon and family…may Stephen rest in peace in Heaven…?

  47. I am so saddened and shocked by the passing of my dear music friend of 35 years. Steve, you will be missed by all of us at St Luke’s, especially myself, your assistant organist and choir member. I was taken aback by the accident I saw Tuesday night on my way to play a St Jude Novena mass. I saw your car, I only realize that now! I’m so sorry, I send my heartfelt condolences to the Kirby family. Steve was so religious and I’m sure God has a special musical place in heaven for Steve. RIP. Steve was loved by so many people

  48. Brendan I’m so sorry for you and your family.May your Dad Rest In Peace ??

  49. Brendan & Kevin,

    On behalf of myself and his student body from Waddington School, Class of 1976, our hearts and sympathies go out to you all. He was a dear friend beyond being my teacher from 6th grade.

    He will be sadly missed by those who knew him and his family.

  50. I am so shocked to read this news. I have known Steve for many, many years. I worked with him in community theatre, and he was my choir director for over 20 yrs at St,Luke’s. He was a great friend and musician. My heart goes out to his son’s and family, and his beautiful little grandaughter who he adored. Steve was an incredible educator and man. I will miss seeing him. RIP Steve, God rest your soul.

  51. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Kirby. He was a great human who was always loving and kind to all that knew him. He will be truly missed by all, especially the members of the Beirne family. May his soul Rest In Peace??

  52. Sadness fills my heart. Stephen was a great friend to me in the organists guild.

  53. On behalf of many colleagues in the East Providence School Department, our sincere condolences. Steve was a treasure in he world of education.

  54. Dear Kevin and Brendan:

    I was shocked and saddened to learn of Dad’s passing. He was always a bright spot in my life with his love and generosity to me and my family. He was the most supportive person I have ever known. I am so grateful he was with me at my home for dinner just a few weeks ago. My guests loved his company and his sense of humor. The world will not be the same for me without Steve Kirby in it.

  55. Oh, Brendan, I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine what a wonderful man your dad was judging by the man that you are.

  56. I am so deeply saddened to hear of Steve’s sudden passing. His guiding hand will be greatly missed as our Chairperson on the Barrington Cemetery Commission. He had a big heart and an even bigger vision for future expansion and preservation initiatives in our town’s historic cemeteries. My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to his family. God bless!

  57. I am so sorry and my condolences. May his soul Rest In Peace

  58. The entire Coffey family shares our condolences to the Kirby family. Your Dad’s music made each service so joyful…he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Peace to the all Kirby family members.

  59. May you rest in peace Steve. You where a good man, great father, and great grandfather. I will never forget the beautiful job you did when my beloved Michael passed with the music at his funeral. How you kept it together, i’m not sure, as you where such a friend to michael. Brendan and Kevin, i’m so sorry for your loss, cherish the
    memories as will I. Your father, Michael, Bob and I had some great times. my prayers and love are with you all.

  60. I am devastated by this news. Steve was my oldest and dearest friend. He was there for me when I got married in St. Louis (and yes, he attended), when my husband died a few years ago, he played and sang at my daughters wedding, my mothers funeral and my fathers funeral. Although I now live 1700 miles away in TX we talked every few weeks about our lives, our grandchildren and old times. This has left a huge hole in my heart. He will be deeply missed.

  61. My deepest condolences to Mr. Kirby’s family. My heart broke today hearing the news of Mr. Kirby’s passing. He was my choir teacher in grade school, He sang at my wedding, He sang at my mom’s funeral. He was just one of the most thoughtful people I have had the pleasure of knowing. So many beautiful memories, the one that stands out most was going house to house singing Christmas Carols as a kid. Thank you MMK I love you and will miss you but will always be grateful for our friendship. May you rest in peace, until we meet again. I sure hope they raised you up on eagles wings! Much love, Mary Kate

  62. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Stephen’s sudden passing. We had known each other for many years as colleagues. Please be assured of my thoughts and prayers for you, his loving family, during this time of tremendous loss. May he find rest eternal in the courts of the loving God he served so well.

  63. My condolences to Steve’s family. Steve was great to those whom he worked with, very supportive of his colleagues and will be greatly missed.

  64. Words cannot express how shocked I was to hear about
    Steve’s passing. St. Lukes will never be the same without hearing his beautiful singing voice during mass. I joined the St. Luke’s choir shortly after my Dad, who was a long time choir member, passed away. Joining that group with Steve leading us, brought me such comfort, as he knew my Dad well and he would share with me some great memories he had about him. Steve always brought out the best of us in the choir and I know how proud he was of us. May you rest in peace, Steve, you will be greatly missed.

  65. Mrs. Babula & Family,

    Since beginning my pursuit in church music at what some would call a premature age, Mr. Kirby has always supported me both with music, my full-time career, and life. When others vanished, he was always there, looking out for me (and others), and supportive of my efforts at my current parish. I appreciated his conversation and friendship despite a difference in age- how I enjoyed his telephone calls. I had the pleasure of speaking with him just a month or so ago with plans to meet for dinner next month.
    He will be missed by his parish & colleagues. He will always be Mr. Kirby (having spent my childhood in Warwick) to me though he often corrected me to call him simply “Steve.”
    Thanks & Prayers to Mr. Kirby,

    Christopher A. Caramello
    East Greenwich, Rhode Island

    Director of Music & Principal Organist
    The Church of Saint Rocco Johnston, RI
    Senior Accountant
    Quonset Development Corporation
    North Kingstown, RI

  66. I have no words to express my distress and sadness at this news. STephen was a wonderful person, a proud father and grandfather, a fine pastoral musician, a beloved principal, and active member of our NPM Council and a dear friend. Nothing but sadness…..

  67. Steve will be greatly missed. He was always ready to provide a listening ear. As a retired educator and organist, he was always ready to provide his insights. Before the pandemic, when the Catholic musicians would gather yearly for a summer BBQ, Steve would open his home to all of us. He was always the gracious host. My heart breaks for his entire family, particularly his “princess” granddaughter. I’m sure he is waiting for the day when he can shower her again with his endless love. May Steve rest in peace and rise in the Lord’s glory.

  68. Steve will be missed by many friends and members of the Greater Tiverton Community Chorus. We will remember his warmth and bass voice.

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