The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder

Diana Kirby


Diana Dee Kirby passed away at her home on March 23, 2020 with her daughter, granddaughter and best friend Baby Dog.

Diana was born August 27, 1931 in her grandparents' house in the community of Ridgway, Montana. She grew up there with her grandparents, Carl & Lola Burch and her mother Crystal Palmer. Her parents later divorced and remarried and to these unions she gained two brothers and two sisters.

Her grandad Carl, known as Papa was a big influence on her life. She learned to ride horses and to work livestock from him. Her grandmother, Lola, showed her how to cook and garden and to can food. Her mom moved to a new place called the Carter place and they raised sheep. Diana's job was to herd the sheep and she had a horse and dog that kept her company all day. She called the dog Bingo and he was her best friend during that time. Now we know where she got the name "Bingo" that she called a lot of her dogs!

Diana graduated from Custer County High School in 1949. After high school she worked various jobs while also learning how to play the standup bass.

Diana married Harry "Speed" Mellville and lived south of Broadus in the community of Sonnette. Together they built their first home and their daughter Karen was born. They moved to Miles City where their two sons Dennis and Kelly were born and raised. Later Diana and Harry were divorced and she met and married Jack Kirby of Jordan, MT. She continued to help Jack on the ranch raising cattle and horses with a brief attempt at sheep and farming! She truly loved the ranching business.

You could often find Diana out herding cattle with her daughter Karen from one pasture to another, and often times moving them down the highway. She loved her horses and did endurance riding with her daughter in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. She was very proud of her mule that she rode bareback down main street in Jordan for her 85th birthday and also rode behind in her buggy in Jordan during the centennial parade.

Diana is preceded in death by her sons, Kelly and Dennis; husband Jack and stepson Ronnie. She is survived by her daughter Karen Frost of Jordan, granddaughter Jacinda Frost of Billings, MT; great-grandchildren Kelly and Celine; great-great-granddaughters Eva and Athena of Billings, MT; granddaughter Nicol Mellville of California; brothers, Larry and Gina of Idaho and Burch and Linda Palmer of Reno, Nevada; sister Lola Palmer of Texas and Lucille Major Otterson of Miles City and her best side-kick, her dog Baby.

A visitation was held on March 29 at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Due to the Coronavirus restrictions, a private family service was held on March 30 at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Interment followed in the Custer County Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Garfield County Ambulance Fund, Jordan MT.


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