Arrangements: Funeral, Repast, Shiva, Donations (No Flowers, Please), and Housing

Kirby’s funeral will begin at 2 pm on Thursday, 2 February, graveside at Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E St. S.E., Washington, DC.

For anyone planning to come and possibly not familiar with Jewish funeral and burial customs you should be warned. The Jewish tradition dictates her coffin be the most plain pine box with no nails or metal fasteners. After it is lowered into the grave, anyone wishing to may shovel dirt into the grave , the community assisting in the burial.

Since Congressional is an old urban cemetery her grave will be excavated to twelve feet to allow a subsequent interment. Her coffin will be lowered by a backhoe. We think Kirby the engineer would approve.

After the funeral we would like to invite you to a potluck repast and Shiva service at St. Monica and St. James Parish Hall, 222 8th St. N.E., Washington, D.C.20002.

It is our hope that we can all eat and drink in celebration of our Kirby.

We will have the traditional afternoon service (Mincha) with recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish at about 4:30 pm. If you would like to write, read, or share reminiscences, stories etc. etc. about Kirby we’ll have an “open mike” after the Mincha…

Judith is requesting for herself no hugs and no sympathy. It is all of that loving kindness that makes her weep, so please restrain.

We have all felt so hideously helpless through Kirby’s illness and suffering. But if you would like to make a contribution in her name to honor her truncated life here are some institutions that meant a lot to her:

One Whitehall Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10004—2109

(Kirby spent six months in Ghana as an AFS exchange student her junior year of high school and ever after Africa “had a piece of my heart.” She totally believed in the AFS mission of building world peace through cultural exchange.)

Temple Micah Building Fund
2829 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007

Temple Micah was her first and last spiritual home. It is the institution that shaped her deep Jewish identity.

Capen House
The Topsfield Historical Society
P.O.Box 323
Topsfield, Ma 01983

(As many of you may, or may not, have known, Kirby’s surname of Capen was matrilineal: Judith’s surname. All Capens in the United States today are descended from a single Capen immigrant who arrived in the American colonies in the 1600s so if you ever meet anyone surnamed Capen: you’re meeting a distant relative of Kirby’s. Say hi for her.)

(Historic) Congressional Cemetery
1801 E Street SE
Washington, DC 20003-2417

(Kirby will be interred at the Historic Congressional Cemetery, blocks from where she grew up and an easy bike ride for her Capitol Hill community.)

Picker Engineering Program
Smith College
Ford Hall
100 Green Street
Northampton, MA 01063
(413) 585-7000

(Smith College was an extraordinary time for Kirby. Many of you probably knew she had a significant language-based learning disability that made academics incredibly difficult for her yet which, even by the fourth grade, she considered an integral part of herself, helping shape her. So integral, in fact, that when asked if she would wish it away she, always an old soul, said no. Math and science were disciplines she could conquer through hard work. Lots of it. Thus engineering, indeed requiring a lot of hard work. But Smith College, housing the first engineering program exclusively for women and from which she was one of the first graduating classes, was a home of her heart.)

If you are coming in from out of town and need a place to stay, a number of our friends and neighbors have offered lodging. Please let Robert know at and he will see what he can do.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim Franklin
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 21:57:16

    The Franklin Bungalow in Arlington is available for those in need. We have a single platform bed in our “teen loft” and a double sleeper sofa in our office/guestroom. We are located in Clarendon on the Orange Line of the metro.

    We look forward to celebrating Kirby’s life with you, your friends, and extended family!

    Kim, John & Izzy


  2. Roberta Meizlik
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 02:31:31

    I’m flying in from California. I could use a place to stay.


  3. Vini Schoene
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 14:36:40

    I can provide transport to anyone on Thursday, especially to and from Dulles, but also just generally to and from funeral and/or subsequent events. Call 703-509-7117 or use this email.


  4. Vini Schoene
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 14:37:24

    oops, I thought email came on the comment:


  5. barbara klestzick
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 03:29:25

    Dear Robert and Judith,
    I was looking for your phone number and I found this blog. I’m so sorry. Kirby was my favorite. If I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like Kirby. I didn’t know she was sick until Shabbat when Jan Greenberg came for dinner. I really don’t know what to say. I’ll cut this short and read the blog. May G-d comfort you.
    Love, Barbara


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