Carol Kirby

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Carol Kirby, nee Rennhoff, 71, wonderful wife of Tom, passed away on Thursday, July 28, 2022. She was born in Belleville, IL, on April 10, 1951, and lived in Belleville all her life.

After attending grade school at Cathedral Grade School, she graduated from Notre Dame Academy and later, she obtained her Bachelor of Psychology degree in three years from McKendree University. She worked at Stix, Baer, and Fuller, and later was a superb homemaker. She married Tom on August 25, 1973, and together they shared family life, raising three daughters. She worked several years at the Blessed Sacrament School library, and later, several years at the Belleville Public Library, where she worked in the children’s department and later the head of the genealogy department. She loved being with her family, including her ten grandchildren. Entertaining with her family was especially a joy for her. We will miss her laughter and love for all her family. How special she made us all feel.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ewald and Aurelia, nee Sauzek, Rennhoff; and two brothers, Harley (Anita) Rennhoff and David Rennhoff.

Left to share memories of her are her husband of 48 years, Tom Kirby; three daughters, Kelly Adams, Emily (Rich) Graeff, and Madeline (David) Bialczak; ten grandchildren who will cherish her love, Antajuan, Keegan, and Abigail Adams, Amelia, Lilah, and Vivian Graeff, Audrey, Stella, Benjamin, and Leo Bialczak; two sisters-in-law, Barbara Rennhoff and Sheila (George) Rahme; and a brother-in-law, Gary (Lisa) Kirby. She will also be missed by several nieces, nephews, and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Blessed Sacrament Catholic School or the Ronald McDonald House. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A memorial mass will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Fr. Clyde Grogan and Fr. Matthew Elie concelebrating.



19 Comments on Carol Kirby

Gail Eisenhart said : Guest Report Aug 08, 2022 at 4:31 PM

Carol was a good friend and coworker at the Belleville Public library. It was a pleasure to know her. Please accept my very sincere sympathy. She will be missed.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Jill Halupa said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2022 at 8:15 AM

Rest in peace Carol. Even though we didn't have connecting classes at Notre Dame, we still are sisters in Christ and have a Christian bond. Prayers to your family who must be missing you already.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Sue Henderson said : Guest Report Aug 01, 2022 at 8:12 PM

I am saddened to hear that Carol is no longer here to brighten the days of her wonderful family. She was always so cheerful and helpful when I visited the library. She beamed when she spoke of her family. May her love of life and of you all bring you comfort.

  • belleville
  • IL
Jackie and John Lauf said : Guest Report Jul 31, 2022 at 8:57 PM

May God send peace and comfort at this difficult time .

  • Belleville
  • IL
Eugene Heidemann said : Guest Report Jul 31, 2022 at 3:19 PM

Tom , sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your wife Carol . Gene

  • Boca Raton
  • Fl
Roger Schlueter said : Guest Report Jul 31, 2022 at 10:00 AM

I was terribly surprised and saddened to read of Carol's passing in the paper a few minutes ago. The News-Democrat Answer Man will be forever indebted to her always eager and tireless efforts to help me ferret out some obscure factoid to improve my stories. And I will never forget our many sessions of friendly kibitzing whenever I would see her at the library. My prayers and sympathy to her family, colleagues and friends.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Brian Price said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 5:21 PM

Mrs. Kirby was always kind and smiley towards us bulsac kids. She helped me find many of the Abraham Lincoln books I liked so much from her stacks. Much love from the Price family

  • Champaign
  • IL
Mary Smith said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 5:13 PM

So sorry to hear of Carol’s passing. I went all through school with Carol and worked briefly with her at Belleville library. She was a lovely lady.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Teri Bromley said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 3:12 PM

I can't believe we have lost Carol. She will be missed so much. She was a joy to know.

  • Granite City
  • Illinois
Ann and Vince Drexelius said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 11:23 AM

We are so sorry to hear of Carol's passing. May all the happy memories you have help to ease some of the pain.

  • Caykfuekd
  • MO
Jerry Dyer said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 11:04 AM

Tom, so sorry to hear of Carol’s passing. You and the girls are definitely in our thoughts and prayers.

  • MO
Michael Mann said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 9:26 AM

Our sincere condolences and prayers are being extended to Tom and his family. We are so sorry for their loss.

  • Riverside
  • IL
Chris Augustine said : Guest Report Jul 30, 2022 at 7:06 AM

God bless you Carol, and rest in peace dear classmate .

  • Belleville
  • Il
Paul Bush said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2022 at 10:15 PM

May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time

  • New Athens
  • Illinois
Kim Stefan said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2022 at 7:01 PM

Prayers for you and your family during this difficult time. Were here to support you Kim SLU Hospital Periop

  • St Louis
  • Missouri
Pat Miller said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2022 at 6:01 PM

Tom and girls, I am so incredibly saddened to hear of Carol's passing. She really loved her family! Don and I are out of state visiting his 97 year old mom. I hate not coming to her visitation. Please know that you are all in my heart and prayers. God bless you all with his healing love.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Dea E. Denton said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2022 at 4:22 PM

Condolence to your family. She will always be in your heart and all those kids she knew along the way.

  • IN
Janet Bialczak said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2022 at 3:54 PM

May you find comfort in every one who loved Carol too . Her smile could light up a room. She was a sweet, kind and loving wife, mother , grandmother and friend . You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers .

  • Town & Country
  • MO
Cathy lantz said : Guest Report Jul 29, 2022 at 3:48 PM

Kelly, sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family

  • Belleville
  • Il

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