W. Kirby Eber, age 74, of Quincy, died Sunday, June 2, 2013, at 10:28 a.m. in Blessing Hospital.
Kirby was born February 24, 1939 in Carthage, Mo., the son of Harold William and Mina Kirby Eber.
His family moved to Quincy in 1955 and he graduated from Quincy High School in 1957. Kirby graduated from Culver-Stockton College in 1962, where he was an art major and had been an organ student of David Daniels and William Spencer Johnson.
Kirby began playing piano when he was five years old. He began his career as an organist on March 6, 1960 at Vermont Street United Methodist Church, where he continued playing for 53 years. Early in his career, Kirby served as organist at Central Baptist, First Christian and Christ Lutheran Churches. Kirby had also been the organist at his own church, St. John's Anglican Parish, since 2004. His two musical passions were American music of the late 19th and early 20th century and contemporary American organ music. Kirby was a member, and former officer, of the Great River Heritage Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Kirby was a long-time piano, harpsichord and organ teacher, who taught many students in the Quincy area. He built his own harpsichord which he played for services at Vermont Street United Methodist Church. He also founded the first hand bell choir in Quincy at Vermont Street in 1964.
Kirby was a leader in the Quincy arts community. In 1991, he received a volunteer leadership award from the Quincy Society of Fine Arts for his thousands of hours of volunteering for arts organizations in Quincy. Kirby served as a board member and was past president of the Quincy Society of Fine Arts, the Quincy Civic Music Association, and the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. He was a founding member and past president of Quincy Preserves, and he served as chairman of the Quincy Preservation Commission.
Kirby was an artist and enjoyed oils and pen and ink. He taught art classes at the YWCA for over 13 years. Kirby had also taught in the humanities department at John Wood Community College since 1996.
He is survived by his sister, Sandra Eber of Quincy, IL.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Services: 10 a.m. Saturday (June 8, 2013) at St. John's Anglican Parish with Rev. Patrick Smith officiating and the Rev. Dr. Scott Grulke assisting.
Burial: Woodland Cemetery, Quincy, Illinois
Visitation: 5-7 p.m. Friday (June 7, 2013) at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.
Memorials: A charity of the donor's choice.
(www.hansenspear.com) Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements.