Coach: a dedicated person who sees hidden potential and maximizes performance by encouraging, developing, and believing.
There are so many definitions of “coach.” For Shaun Kirby, the one above is most fitting. It describes who he was as not only a coach, but also a guidance counselor, mentor, friend, father, and husband. Shaun was dedicated to his wife, his three adoring children, his students, athletes, and friends. He saw potential, not failings. He taught, guided, and assisted people in finding their version of excellence. He did this with a tough exterior, warm smile, and thoughtful approach. He believed and taught others to believe in themselves. And, he did this stubbornly. Like there was no other way. How lucky you were to be in his orbit for this reason alone.
On Thursday April 7, 2022, at age 73, Shaun Patrick Kirby, Sr. of Pittsfield, MA and Port St. Lucie, FL, passed away surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Pittsfield, MA, October 4, 1948, he was the son of the late Irene (Berry) Gillette and William C. Kirby. He was the loving husband of 50 years to M. Martha (Lane) Kirby. Shaun was the proud, devoted father to Shaun P. Kirby, Jr. and his partner, Ellen Scordino, Shannon Gamberoni and her husband Michael, and Colleen O’Donnell and her husband Kevin. He cherished his eight grandchildren – Shaun and Olivia Kirby, Nicole, Marley, and Luke Gamberoni, Ethan, Gavin, and Chase O’Donnell – and was a great listener and supporter of all that they did. Shaun also leaves behind his beloved brother Bill Kirby and his wife, Marilyn, and his sister Donna Kirby, as well as numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.
Shaun, who completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and master’s degree at North Adams State College, was a life-long educator, coach, and guidance counselor working in the Pittsfield Public School system. He was deeply passionate about helping students and athletes develop to their fullest potential. His efforts were often rewarded by the number of people whom he or his children would meet years later that related how Shaun’s mentoring and guidance had changed their lives. Shaun also spent his summers in construction – not just building his own home in Pittsfield, but roofing and adding space to numerous other homes in town. He was no stranger to hard work, finding his passion in making and leaving spaces (and people) better than when he found them. Above all, Shaun was a wonderful husband and incredible father, teaching his children the importance of integrity, hard work, and excellence. He had impeccable timing in telling jokes and razzing friends and family, yet always making them feel loved. Shaun’s friends and family will certainly miss his warmth, humor, and love, but celebrate a life well-lived and know there are many pints being raised in his honor – the specific brew dependent on the decade you knew him.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, April 28, 2022, from 4 to 6 P.M. at the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home, 40 Maplewood Ave, Pittsfield, MA. A memorial mass will be held on April 29, 2022, at 9:00 A.M. at the St. Joseph’s Church, 414 North Street, Pittsfield, MA, with burial proceedings to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions in Shaun’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires and mail to the funeral home.
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