Ellis Kirby, 62, of Pittsburg, TX, passed away Sunday, October 29, 2017 at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born November 29, 1954 in Dallas, Texas to Marshall Ray Kirby and Melva Maxine Wood Kirby. Ellis married the love of his life Mary Phanel Kirby on July 8, 1978 in Dallas, Texas. Their wedding was officiated by the late Rev. Clarence Kirby, Ellis' paternal grandfather. Phanel and Ellis raised 2 sons, Brian and Andy, and shared a passion for the outdoors, hunting and fishing with their sons every chance they had.
Mr. Kirby started his career in Dallas, Texas as one of the region's premier automotive transmission builders. His attention to detail and knowledge of how to achieve the most best result were among traits that made him second to none. Ellis' transmissions were in high demand, and he enjoyed guaranteeing that his craftsmanship would yield the most durable transmissions available. In his spare time, Ellis could be found competing in fishing tournaments throughout Texas and Louisiana. He eventually slowed down and steered his full-time career toward the outdoors, as a fishing guide.
It has been said by hundreds of weekend fisherman that “Ellis could put you on the fish”. He took a thorough knowledge of weather, lake levels, and every intricacy that made him a successful angler and shared his talents so that others could succeed as fishermen.
His talents landed him on the cover of the fishing guide, "Honey Hole Magazine" as well as frequent appearances on Jerry Dean’s fishing show of the same name. On one such episode, Mr. Dean mistakenly referred to Phanel as "Nadine". Realizing his mistake he quickly called Ellis, "Ernest" and the episode continued unedited. Following that day, most future episodes of "Honey Hole Magazine the fishing show” were peppered with anecdotes involving "Nadine and her hubby Ernest", and the Kirby family are forever grateful to Jerry for his hospitality, humor and the platform he provided to bring their passion for the outdoors to people everywhere.
Ellis had always been an enthusiastic outdoorsman. After he wed Phanel, she was his constant companion in the deer stand. In their 39 hunting seasons together, many deer tags have been filled by Ellis, keeper of the family's buck tags. Phanel held the doe tags and her conquests afield made Ellis proud to be paired in life with such a like-minded soul as she.
In the twilight of his career, Mr. Kirby worked alongside Randy Acker at the R&R Marina on the loop in Pittsburg, Texas. He enjoyed interacting with fellow sportsmen and was a talented salesman
Ellis is survived by his wife Phanel; Sons: Brian Kirby & wife Ivy of Ft. Worth, Texas, and Andy McFerran & wife Breanna of Pittsburg, Texas; sister-in-law Robbie Kirby of Pittsburg, Texas; 8 grandchildren: Ayden Kirby, Brittany Cates, Miranda Guthrie, Riley McFerran, Kolby McFerran, Emma McFerran, Addison McFerran, and Ireland McFerran; 3 nephews: Clay Kirby & wife Tristan, Michael Todd Kirby & wife Shena, and Marcus Kirby.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Marshall Ray Kirby and Melva Maxine Wood Kirby; and a brother: Cliff Kirby.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 4, 2017 at Erman Smith Funeral Home in Pittsburg, Texas. The chapel service will be officiated by Rev. Mark Webb, Pastor of Countryside Fellowship Church, Decatur, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to:
Cypress Basin Hospice: 207 Morgan Street, Mt. Pleasant, Texas 75455