Mark Kirby

Mark Kirby, age 69, went home to be with the Lord on March 29, 2024. He was born on October 29, 1954, in Cherokee, Iowa, and was the fifth child of Rose Marie and James Phillips.  When Mark was one year old, the family moved to Orange, California, where James passed away from cancer. 

When Mark was five years old, Rose Marie married Ray Kirby, who then adopted all seven Phillips children.  Mark attended Holy Family Grade School, Portola Junior High School, and Orange High School in Orange, California, before moving to Onawa, Iowa, where he graduated from West Monona High School.  As one of eleven children, he learned to get along with almost anyone and was quite creative in his endeavors. His sense of humor helped him get out of many a sticky situation.  

Upon graduation, Mark worked at the Happy Chef Restaurant in Onawa, Iowa. His bosses, Bob and Mike Oehler, taught him everything they knew and gave him his strong work ethic.  In the mid-1970s, Mark moved back to Orange, California. In the fall of 1981, he began dating Aldheid (Heidi) Schneege. On April 15, 1983, they were married at The Hitching Post in Las Vegas. Mark and Heidi had five beautiful children: Michael, Theresia, Matthew, Ryan and Christina.

Mark worked as a chef at a variety of restaurants, including Disney Hotel, Orange Hills Restaurant and Bob’s Big Boy.  He also purchased a residential/commercial mini blind business from his cousin, where his dream of working for himself began. He installed mini blinds in Orange County and Los Angeles. While in California, Mark used his handyman/construction skills to volunteer as crew supervisor on Habitat for Humanity projects with his time at Lowe’s.  He liked every single job he had and made the best of each one. The people he met usually became good friends.

In July of 1988, Mark, Heidi, and family decided to return to the Midwest and settled in Nortonville, Kansas. Mark started from scratch his own remodeling company, Kirby’s Remodeling & Seamless Guttering, although fishing was his first love. Most evenings and weekends were spent on the water fishing and contemplating life. 

They enjoyed their life in Nortonville, though it was marred by the death of their youngest daughter, Christina, in a car accident at age 17 in 2008.

Mark and Heidi raised their children to become disciplined workers. Many times you could find one of the kids (and their cousins) up on the ladder helping him fix a roof, install windows, or hang wallpaper. 

Mark is preceded in death by parents James Phillips, Rose Marie and Ray Kirby; brothers Mike and Tom Kirby; and daughter Christina. He is survived by wife Heidi of Belton, Missouri; son Mike Surey (Jenny) of Topeka, Kansas; daughter Theresia Kirby of Lenexa, Kansas; son Matthew Kirby of Overland Park, Kansas; and Ryan Kirby (Shelby) of Overland Park, Kansas; grandchildren Ethan, Blake, and Justin Surey of Topeka, Kansas; and Tate and Titus Belveal of Lenexa, Kansas. Mark is also survived by sisters Pat Oehler of Missouri Valley, Iowa; Kathy Kirby of Omaha, Nebraska; Gale Kirby of Littleton, Colorado; Mary Kirby of Denver, Colorado; and Faith Baumhover (Steve) of Omaha, Nebraska; and brothers, Dana Kirby (Beth) of Whiting, Iowa; Frank Kirby of Omaha, Nebraska; and Martin Kirby of Rose Hill, Kansas. 

Mark was the best husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, and uncle. He also developed a strong friendship with his fishing buddies, who in turn went above and beyond the call of duty to help Mark and his family. We are very grateful for all the prayers, support and kindnesses given to our family during this difficult time.

The memorial service will be held at the Hollis Renewal Center in the Lodge Building located at 11414 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66111. The memorial service will be on April 26th at 11:00 AM. Please join the family for a shared meal immediately following the service. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made directly to Heidi Kirby at 8426 Clint Drive #144 Belton, MO 64012 or Venmo @mrskirby1983 to help cover any expenses.


  1. Roger Whaley on April 2, 2024 at 3:00 pm

    We loved the family as part of our own. Whaleys had alot of adventures together, priceless moments we will never forget. Love Roger, Diana and Andy.

  2. John and Janet Scott on April 2, 2024 at 3:43 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Let God provide strength and comfort at this difficult time

  3. Justin, Kelsey (Henning), Lillian and Maiken Ruhlman on April 2, 2024 at 7:10 pm

    I enjoyed having your family as our neighbors through most of my childhood. So sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. He was such a hardworking and kind person. He will be missed! We are keeping your family in our prayers!

  4. Chris, Beverly, Kyle and Brandon Domann and Megan (Brant) Mangrum on April 2, 2024 at 9:12 pm

    Heidi and family, so sorry to hear about Mark’s passing! You have our prayers and sympathy!

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