Who is this beautiful child with the golden ringlets and winning smile? It is my Dad. The photo must be 77 years old. Today is Dad’s 80th birthday.
Daniel Bernard Kirby was born at home, 148 Grafton Street in Fair Haven, Connecticut on December 30, 1926. His father was Daniel J. Kirby and his mother Margaret Mary Kirby, née Gilbride. Dr. E. T. Falsey delivered the baby boy, the first of six. Little Danny was baptized in Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Fair Haven and attended Saint Francis School.
As a teenager he fell head–over–heels in love with the sweetest girl in the world, Emma Rose Barbato, my wonderful Mom. It was love at first sight. An Irish boy smitten by an Italian girl! Dad served in the U. S. Army during World War II. He married Emma Rose in Saint Francis Church on October 9, 1948. Together they had five children, all of whom were baptized in the same Saint Francis Church. Dad retired as a Battalion Chief from the New Haven Fire Department in 1986.
Dad is up early every morning and out the door to Mass, either in Saint Joseph’s Church or in his parish church, Saint Mary’s on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven. At 80 he remains very active and is always ready to lend a hand, to run an errand, to visit the sick, and to do whatever needs to be done. Mom takes good care of him and he takes good care of her. A couple more devoted to each other you will not find!
Family and friends are gathering this afternoon at my sister Donna’s home in Woodbridge, Connecticut. If you cannot be there, please leave a Happy Birthday message for Dad here. And offer a prayer for him.