Cover photo for Lawana Beatrice Kirby's Obituary
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1936 Lawana 2022

Lawana Beatrice Kirby

October 14, 1936 — November 14, 2022

Funeral services for Lawana Beatrice (Hale) Kirby will be held 2:00 PM, Monday, November 21, 2022, at the Crossway First Baptist Church, in Sulphur, with Reverend Willard McCartney, Jr. and John Rheed Hale officiating. Interment will follow at the Drake Cemetery, south of Sulphur.

Lawana, also known by many as “Blackie”, was born October 14, 1936, in Sulphur, to the late, John H. “Doc” and Josie G. (Elkins) Hale. She passed away, surrounded by her beloved family, on Monday, November 14, 2022, at her home in Sulphur, at the age of 86 years and 1 month. Lawana and Bobby John Kirby were united in marriage on November 8, 1952, in Ada. To this union were born three children Javonna, Ladonna and Bobby John, Jr.

Lawana grew up in the Drake area, attending school in both Drake and Sulphur. Early in her adult life, in addition to making a home for her family, she worked as a waitress at the Chickasaw Motor Lodge, and later owned and operated the Rancho Café with the late Corkie Sims. The final 22 years of her working career was spent at the Sulphur Veteran’s Center, where she worked in physical therapy.

Growing up in a farming family, Lawana quickly learned the importance of hard work. Throughout her life she never shied away from any type of work. Whatever the task, be it working on the family-owned dairy, helping in the hay field, or any other farm related task, Lawana was right there assisting the others and pulling her own weight. She carried this strong work ethic to jobs not only on the farm, but in all other aspects of her life.

Lawana possessed a servant’s heart, always tending to the needs of others. As a lifelong caregiver, her compassion, care, and love for others was second to none. Lawana continually put others first in her life. She had a God given talent when it came to caring for family and friends, especially those who were ill.

Lawana was very devoted to her family. She always made sure her three children were loved, provided for, and had the best life possible. Then came the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even a great-great grandchild, who each knew their beloved “Nonnie” was their biggest fan. She cherished spending time with her family and making memories that will sustain them all for many years.

Her talents were vast. She was an amazing seamstress and enjoyed making her children’s clothes. One of her specialties was making western wear, which often took many hours for all the bling she would add. One of her most recognized talents was her ability to cook. Knowing her way around the kitchen, if Lawana cooked it, you could rest assured that it was going to be delicious. She made countless birthday cakes for her family, as well as others in the area.

To know Lawana Kirby was truly a blessing. Her welcoming and giving heart is something that will not be forgotten by those who loved her. As the final chapters of her life unfolded, she was forced to bear the burdens associated with dementia. Although these burdens called for many major changes in her life, she remained steadfast and followed the path that God desired for her. What many may consider a loss, Lawana Kirby and her beloved family saw it differently. In their hearts and minds, on Monday, November 14, 2022, “Nonnie” did not lose her battle with dementia, she won the victory. She received the ultimate healing that only our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ can give to those who accept him.

Thank you Lawanna / “Nonnie”/ “Blackie” for a lifetime of love, care and most importantly, the countless precious memories we have of you.

Those left to carry on her legacy include her two daughters, Javonna Earsom & husband David, and Ladonna Kirby, both of Sulphur; her son, Bobby John “BJ” Kirby, Jr. & wife Sayonara of Hernando, FL; five grandchildren, Melissa Hulsey & husband Dan of Moore, Valerie Keenan & husband Larry of Sulphur, Jessica Earsom of Sulphur, Austin Kirby & wife Rebecca of Murrietta, CA, and Kendra Briggs & husband Andrew of Inverness, FL; ten great-grandchildren, Haley Sumner, Stephen Hulsey, Cheyenne Hulsey, Logan Keenan, Codi Reid, Cash Nelson, Lane Keenan, Andrew Kirby, Madison Briggs, and Madelynn Briggs; one great-great grandson, Alex; her dearest friend until the very end, Lena Muse of Sulphur, who shared herself with Lawana and the family for the past five years; as well as a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to her parents Lawana was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Kirby on September 5, 1990; one grandson, Monty Joe Vineyard on February 6, 1994; three sisters, Roberta Yarberry, Valeta Rose Allison, and Dixie Brown; and six brothers, Scott Hale, Melvin Hale, Tommy Hale, Joe Hale, Sherfield Hale, and J.B. Hale.

Those desiring to make memorial contributions in memory of Lawana, can do so to the Good Shepherd Hospice of Ardmore.

Services are “Entrusted to” Hale’s Funeral Home of Sulphur.

Online condolences may be offered at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lawana Beatrice Kirby, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 20, 2022

1:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Hale's Funeral Home, Sulphur

3370 State Highway 7, Sulphur, OK 73086

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, November 21, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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