Sister Timothy Kirby, 1918-2010
Sister Timothy Kirby, OSB, 92, died Wednesday, December 22, 2010, at St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota. She was born September 21, 1918, in Montreal, Wisconsin, where she attended Montreal Elementary School, but graduated from Lincoln High School in Hurley, Wisconsin. She went on to earn an A.A. in Music from Virginia Community College, Virginia, Minnesota, and later received a B.A. from The College of St. Scholastica with a major in Music and a minor in Speech. In 1950 she earned an M.A. from Northwestern University with a major in Interpretation of Literature and a minor in Drama. She also did post-graduate studies in Administration, Counseling, and Literature.
Sister Timothy entered the Duluth Benedictine community September 7, 1940, and professed her monastic vows July 11, 1942. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee August 16, 1967, her Golden Jubilee July 26, 1992, and her Diamond Jubilee July 2, 2002. She taught Chorus, Speech, Music Appreciation, Religion and English at Stanbrook Hall High School and was prefect of the resident students. Her next assignment was at Cathedral Senior High School where she taught Chorus, Speech and English. In 1962 she joined the faculty of The College of St. Scholastica where she served in various capacities over the years: Prefect, Dean of Women, Associate Professor of Speech and Drama, Chair of the Drama Department, Campus Ministry and Assistant Director of Alumni Relations.
She did not limit herself to her full-time ministries. For ten years during the summer months she worked in the Accounting Office, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan from 1970-1980. During the school year Sister Timothy assisted on weekends at Young Adult and Adult Seminars at the Welch Center in Duluth, and in 1989 began ministering at the Federal Prison as a volunteer leading Catholic Scripture study groups and, later, also presiding at Communion Services on Sundays when a priest was not available. She participated in other "extracurricular" activities as well, many of which were music-related: the Skyline Singers, the College Orchestra, directing the Monastery Schola, serving as organist for the Monastery and playing the string bass in the Monastery Contemporary Music group. She also was very committed to working for peace and justice.
She belonged to numerous organizations and boards, some of which were: The American Association of University Women (representative for The College of St. Scholastica and the AAUW Duluth Branch Board and the AAUW Minnesota State Board of Directors), Pax Christi (State representative from Duluth), SOAR (on the Board of Directors serving as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president), Benedictine Health System (including Board of Directors for two BHS facilities in Shakopee, Minnesota), Arrowhead Interfaith Council Board of Directors, Welch Center Board, Spirit Valley Youth Center Board, Benedictine Health Center Board, St. Joseph's Medical Center Board (Brainerd), Women's Commission - City of Duluth (served as Chair), Spectra Board, College of St. Scholastica Alumni Board, and Arrowhead Interfaith Council.
Along the way she received many awards. In 1994 the St. Scholastica Alumni Association established the Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award that honors alumnae who have shown professional achievement and who exemplify the Benedictine values. In 2002 she was named Volunteer of the Year at the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth. In 2003 she received an Excellence in Service to the Community award from The College of St. Scholastica in recognition of her work with various groups in the Duluth-Superior area. In 2004 she received a Women as Agents of Change award from the Minnesota branch of the AAUW.
Sister Timothy was preceded in death by her parents Timothy and Franceline (Genisot) Kirby and her three brothers: Neil, John and William. In addition to the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, she is survived by several nieces and nephews and countless friends. A wake service will be held in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel during Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 11, with visitation from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Chapel Wednesday, January 12, at 11:00 a.m. with Father William Graham presiding. Interment will be at Gethsemane Cemetery. Memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery or The Sister Timothy Kirby College of St. Scholastica Alumni Scholarship are preferred. Arrangements are by Bell Brothers Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home.