Obituary: Andrew Kirby


Andrew Kirby

Andrew Louis Kirby, 61, of Greenwich, CT passed away on July 14, 2020 from a heart attack while vacationing with his family. He spent his last days in a place he loved, the Kirby family camp in the Adirondacks.

Andrew was born in New York City on August 6, 1958, son of William and Ann (Pfohl) Kirby. He grew up with his large, loving family in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, commuting with his siblings to Saint David’s School in Manhattan.

Andrew attended Phillips Exeter Academy and the Lawrenceville School, Duke University (BSE 1980), and Harvard Law School (JD 1983). He was a proud Duke alumnus, cheering on the Blue Devils every season, and was a recipient of the 2020 Forever Duke Award for his decades of active involvement in the Duke Alumni Association. Professionally, Andrew wore many hats. Over the course of his career, he was a corporate lawyer at Shearman & Sterling, in-house counsel and Director of Acquisitions for Cadbury Schweppes, founder and President of SodaMate, and President of Plaxall, the family real estate and plastics manufacturing business in Long Island City, NY. He served on multiple nonprofit boards including the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, the Queens Museum, and the Long Island City Partnership. While he wasn’t a practicing engineer in his career, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi honor society, and his passion for innovating, creative problem solving, and understanding how things work was apparent in all he did.

Andrew’s interests were also varied. He was a superb athlete who loved skiing, tennis, paddle tennis, and golf with friends and family. He loved to swim, and was famous for his trademark variation on the cannonball that would leave any bystanders drenched and laughing.

Andrew was the spark that enlivened any gathering. Thanks to him, get-togethers often included music and dancing, a competitive game of cornhole, or even a little late-night bowling. Andrew’s greatest pleasure was spending quality time with his wife Nancy, son Duncan, and daughter Johanna. He and Nancy often enjoyed kayaking and long walks at Tod’s Point on Long Island Sound. During his childhood, Andrew’s family vacationed at Rockywold Deephaven Camps on Squam Lake, NH, a tradition Andrew continued with his own family. His daughter Johanna was married there in June of last year, a celebration that brought Andrew immense joy.

Andrew was a devoted husband and father who made his love for his family known with his constant encouragement and support. He was always there for his family at a moment’s notice—providing invaluable life and career advice to Duncan, offering moral and technical support for Nancy with her teaching career, or even (memorably) moving Johanna into a fifth floor walk-up apartment in the middle of a hot NYC summer. He was generous with his time and energy: always available, always helping, and never expecting anything in return.

Andrew is survived by his beloved wife of thirty-six years Nancy (Trettis) Kirby, his son Duncan Kirby (Alessandra), his daughter Johanna Allen (Brandon), and his mother Ann Kirby. Andrew’s father, William J. Kirby, passed away in 2003. Andrew is also survived by his brothers William Jr. (Anne), Brian (Mona), and Peter; and sisters Mathis Powelson (Stephen), Paula (Peter McWhinnie), and Julia Vien (George), as well as many loving nieces and nephews. His family will miss his easy smile and contagious laugh, his puckish sense of humor, his warmth, and his steadfast love. We feel him with us and will carry his spirit in our hearts forever.

Due to the current pandemic, a memorial service for Andrew will be held at a later date. Donations in his name may be made to the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement.

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