James Wallace (Wally) Kirby was born on March 16, 1947 to Dovie Rogers Kirby and Jesse Roland Kirby in Louisville, Kentucky. He died Monday, April 22, 2019.
His family lived in Macon County, Tennessee where he graduated from high school. He obtained his BS from Middle Tennessee State University in 1969 where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity and received his JD from Nashville School of Law. While attending law school, Wally was the administrator of the TBI Crime Lab from 1972-1976. Upon graduation he went to work for W. B. Lockert, Jr., as an assistant district attorney for the 23rd Judicial District, covering Cheatham, Dickson, Humphreys, Stewart and Houston counties. While working for the 23rd Judicial District he served under three District Attorneys, Lockert, Kenneth Atkins, and Dan Alsobrooks. He became the Senior District Attorney in 1990, Deputy District Attorney in 1997 and remained until he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference in July 1999. Wally is preceded in death by his father, Jesse Roland Kirby.
He is survived by his mother, Dovie Rogers Kirby of Hendersonville, his wife, Martha Daniel Kirby, his three children, Ryan (Denise) Kirby of Murfreesboro, Jennifer (Steven) Chaffin of Chattanooga, and Jill Kirby of Nashville. He also is survived by two step-sons, Joshua (Faith) Owen and Adam (Abby) Owen, all of Charlotte. He has nine grandchildren, Chelsey Kirby, Hannah Kirby, Gracie Kirby, Ryan Marie Kirby, Isabella Kirby, Celena Kirby, Seth Chaffin, EllaClaire Chaffin and Emery Owen.
In Cheatham County he served as Chair of the Cheatham County Democratic party, member of the Child Abuse Council, member of Pleasant View United Methodist Church, member of the Cheatham County Fair Association Board, chair of Junior Pro Basketball league and coached Dixie Youth baseball.
During his tenure with the District Attorneys General Conference he served in various positions; member of Tennessee Judicial Council; member of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Nominating Commission; vice president, National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, 2006-2007; president, National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, 2007-2008; and, board of directors, National District Attorneys Association.
He was the recipient of the Patrick H. McCutchen Award in October 2007 for his dedication to the goals and ideals of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference and his efforts to improve the quality of justice to all Tennesseans; District Attorneys General Conference Child Support Award; and the conference received two Southeast Regional Emmys for the concept for two public service videos, Meth Is Death and Baby Mama, Baby Daddy. In June 2010 he received recognition by the State House of Representative, Resolution 1402, for his honorable and astute service to the people of Tennessee. He retired March 2015 after 45 years, 8 months of honorable service to the state of Tennessee.
Visitation with the family will be Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 3 to 8 p.m. A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 11 a.m. with no visitation Friday morning at Austin and Bell Funeral Home in Pleasant View, Tennessee. Memorial donations may be made to the Cheatham County Imagination Library, P. O. Box 519, Ashland City, TN 37015.
Services under the direction of the Austin & Bell Funeral Home, Pleasant View, TN and Taylor Funeral Home, Dickson, TN 615-446-2808