May 16, 1937 - September 2, 2019 Loretta Wray White Kirby, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, was born on May 16, 1937, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to John Alvin White and Ila Evelyn White. She attended Hanes High School, where she met the love of her life, her late husband of 63 years, Thomas Martin Kirby, Sr., who predeceased her by six months. Together in life, they are now reunited with one another, and also with their much loved and deeply mourned only son, Thomas Martin Kirby, Jr., who died in 1980. Loretta was a great beauty until the final moments of her life and was just as gorgeous on the inside as she was on the outside. She was loving and present for everyone she loved, and took care of so many others, including her ailing mother and her late husband when his health was failing, with unselfish devotion, unflagging strength, and unshakeable faith in the goodness of God and His merciful interventions in the lives of His children. Some years ago, Loretta retired as a Clinique counter manager from Hecht's department store, where every customer wanted to buy whatever she was using as skincare, so her sales were always top tier. She was a wonderful cook and loved experimenting with recipes, and she enjoyed many shopping expeditions with her daughter and granddaughter over the years. What she loved most was being at home and spending time with her family. In her youth, Loretta was a model, homecoming queen of her high school, and prima ballerina of her ballet school. She was headed to New York City to audition for the Rockettes when she suffered a devastating fall that ended her dance career, but not her lifelong dedication to her future husband and her two children, who were blessed in every way to know her and to love her. Adored by everyone she knew, Loretta was a shining light in a world made less brilliant by her passing. Loretta was preceded in death by her husband, "Tom," her son, "Tommy," and her parents. Surviving are her daughter, Terri Kirby Erickson (Leonard), of Pfafftown, who is devastated to the core at losing her mom, her best friend in this world; her dearly loved granddaughter Gia Riana (Brandon) of Kernersville; her brother, Stephen White of Pittsboro; and a dear friend of the family, Timothy Plowman of Waynesville. A poem entitled, "Another Memory of My Mother's Kindness," written by her daughter in 2009, says to anyone who reads it what is essential to know about her cherished mother, Loretta Kirby: "At the end of our street/was a small patch of land/where a neighbor's/grandfather, his body bent/as a boomerang, tilled/the ground and planted seeds./At harvest time, the sun/beat down hard as rain/and mottled his bare back,/cupped like a hand over rich/swells of dirt and the foliate/flare of ripe cabbages./Come noon, he'd lean against/a shade tree and drink/the tall glass of lemonade/my mother always brought/him, sowing seeds of her/own while we watched--/and remembered." A memorial service for our beloved and beautiful Loretta will be conducted at 3:00 PM, Thursday, September 12, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church (Chapel) with Rev. Joanne Henley officiating. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home 3315 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
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