Skip to content

Herbert ‘Herb’ James Kirkby

May 12, 2024

Passed peacefully at Woodstock General Hospital on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at the age of 86, with his adoring wife of 41 years, Edith, by his side. Beloved father of Mark (Julie), Steven (Jamie), Valerie Price (Rick Worotny), Marilyn Price (Daryll Leduc), and Tracey Price (Jody Mitchell). Cherished grandfather of Alena, Lexie, Hunter, Tanner, Emily, Thomas, Claire, Emmett, Brodie, Evie and three great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his father Frank Herbert Kirkby and mother Matilda Jane McKay, brother, Douglas Kirkby and his wife Jean, brother-in-law, Leo Fleming, and sisters-in-law, Georgette and Shirley Fleming.

Born in Seaforth in 1938, after finishing high school, Herb went on to graduate from The Ontario College of Art in Toronto, 1960.  Herb’s early career was in advertising and graphics, where he worked at Huddleston and Barney in Woodstock. Herb then found his true passion, embarking on his teaching journey in 1970, where he taught at College Avenue Secondary School (“CASS”), for 25 years.  Herb took immense pride in his job and being part of the team of three teachers that created the commercial art program and facilities. Not only did he share his talents of art and photography, he always, in his modest, soft voice, mentored students with his knowledge and encouraged their talent and technique, giving advice and feedback. Herb continued to teach at night school art classes and private classes after his formal retirement.

To say that Herb was an amazing artist is an understatement, he had a gift. From start to finish, he could create vistas of incredible beauty, sparked from his history and love of nature, rural trails, and the richness of the countryside. His works of art were always engaging with wonderful composition, texture, and depth, pulling several ideas from various sources into one lovely painting. The solid strength of a pile of rocks contrasted with the delicacy of a butterfly, the woodland trilliums dappled with sunlight and shade.

Herb loved travel, music, dancing, Edith’s famous pies and to watch his favorite team, the Leafs, play hockey.

Herbie was a kind, thoughtful, generous, and truly lovely man that Edith and his daughters treasured. He was not their stepfather; he was their father. Beloved forever and never to be forgotten.

The family is so very thankful to Dr. Binh Vu and to the entire staff at Woodstock General Hospital, Palliative Care Team, that provided the timely and passionate care to make his final stage of life comfortable.

In keeping with Herb’s wishes, cremation has already taken place. A Celebration of Life will take place at the Woodstock Art Gallery, 449 Dundas Street, Woodstock, Ontario on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Woodstock Hospital Foundation or to a charity of your choice.

Leave a tribute for Herbert ‘Herb’ James Kirkby

Leave a tribute

  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, gif, Max. file size: 2 MB.

I am so very sorry Edith…I remember doing Herb’s entry in the Lambeth art show every year…such happy memories.

~ Gail Jongkind

I am so very sorry Edith…I remember doing Herb’s entry in the Lambeth art show every year…such happy memories

~ Gail Jongkind

I grew up knowing Herb as his first wife was my cousin, I am still in touch with Mark and his wife and also worked with Tanner for a bit a few or should I say more than a few years ago, I remember a picture that was taken and made the paper of him and my Dad and oldest brother putting up a rail fence at their house. Remember going camping with them as a kid, so many memories so sorry for your loss.

~ Doris Gibbons( nee Miller)

Mr Kirkby was one of my art teachers at CASS 1975-79. Great art program and all around good guy. My condolences to the family 💐

~ Lori Klein (Chattington)

I was one of Herb’s students 1974-78. The CASS teaching faculty was exceptional and influenced the rest of my life. Woodstock was lucky to have the Three Musketeers, Ed, Herb and Maurice who ran the best art learning centre in the County. Blessings to Herb’s family.

~ Marta Madison (née Pidlubny)

My sincere condolences to Herb's family. I worked at CASS, and for many years, enjoyed having a pre school morning coffee with Herb and the gang, in the back room of the library. A gentle man with a cute sense of humor.

~ Deb Seeley

Very sorry to hear of your dad's passing Tracey. Sincere condolences to you and your family. RIP

~ Nancy Maxwell

Edith and family, so sorry to hear the news of Herb's passing. We have fond memories of many social interactions including meeting up for Saturday breakfasts. Herb was a delight to be around, a true gentleman.

~ Liz and Bryan Ross

Edith so sorry to hear about Herbs passing . Sending my deepest condolences to you and your family .

~ Nancy Van Ostaeyen

So sorry to hear about your passing. You were a great art teacher to me and so many other students. You were a great husband to Edith and father to Edith’s girls snd your children. May you rest peacefully in heaven. 🥲 Condolences to all of your family and friends that will miss you dearly.

~ Kim Hutchinson

Services for Herbert ‘Herb’ James Kirkby

Celebration of Life will be held at:
Woodstock Art Gallery
449 Dundas Street,
Woodstock, Ontario

June 12, 2024 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Make a donation

If you wish to make a donation, please consider one of the charities listed below. You will be taken to the charity's website to process your payment.

Woodstock Hospital Foundation

Notify family of your donation

Kindly submit the form below if you wish to notify the family of your donation.