Nicolena Kirby

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Nicolena (“Nikki”) Brager Kirby, 83, of Picayune, MS, passed away peacefully on October 30, 2023 after battling Alzheimer’s disease for several years.   Her family was at her side.

She was born on September 17, 1940 to Bernard and Gladys (Allsup) Brager in Dallas, TX.  She graduated from Highland Park High School in 1958, then completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from Texas Tech University in 1964 when she began her forty-year teaching career, educating elementary and middle school children at various schools in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

In 1959, Nikki met Gerald “Jerry” Kirby, then of San Antonio, TX, on a blind date. They married in 1961 and after living in Lubbock, TX and New Orleans.LA, they ultimately settled in Picayune, where they have been part of the community for 42 years.

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Throughout her life, Nikki enjoyed many pursuits. She was an avid painter, producing many beautiful works and was excellent seamstress who made clothes for her family. She was a voracious reader and enjoyed keeping up with current events She loved playing Bridge, Bunco, and Scrabble with family and friends. Nikki was an amateur archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service. She was active in her local church and ministered for years through the Home of Grace and international mission trips.

Nikki was a gentle and kind soul, always quick with a laugh and more than willing to help anyone who needed it. She was kind, whip-smart, and fun to be around. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Nikki was predeceased by her mother and father. She is survived by her loving husband Jerry, her sister Kris Schmidt, her daughter Kristin Merritte, her son Clinton Kirby, her daughter-in-law Marti Kirby, her granddaughter Elizabeth Merritte, and her grandsons Alexander Kirby, William Merritte, and Jackson Kirby.

We will celebrate Nikki’s life at McDonald Funeral Home on November 4. Visitation will be at 11 a.m. with a service following at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at