Janice Chapman Kirby

June 19, 1934 ~ October 17, 2020 (age 86)


Janice Chapman Kirby died peacefully in her home on October 17th surrounded by family. Jan was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on June 19th, 1934, daughter to the late Otis and Elinor Chapman. She attended Branford High School and Endicott College. While working at Yale University, she met John B. Kirby whom she later married. Early in their marriage, they moved to Japan for a year which led to a lifelong appreciation of Japanese art and culture. Jan was an avid reader. She loved British mysteries and enjoyed spending time in London and Cornwall, England. She was always aware of current events and fondly remembers her family’s political discussions around the dinner table while growing up. She volunteered for many years at a local soup kitchen and was sure to teach her children the importance of volunteering and philanthropy. She loved nature and spent many hours watching birds at her home and farther afield. Jan passed along that love to her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed traveling with her grandsons, Michael and Colin and watching them play sports, create art and spend time outdoors.

Jan is survived by her 4 children, son Jay Kirby and his wife Catherine, daughter Susan Kirby and her husband Joe Murray, son Lane Kirby and daughter Sara Mitchell and her husband John; her two grandsons Michael and Colin Mitchell, her brother Richard Chapman, several nieces and nephews and Junko Terada, a Japanese exchange student who felt like a daughter and her husband Arturo.  She was predeceased by John, her husband of 56 years, her brother Alan Chapman and nephew Stuart Chapman.

A private, graveside service will be held with the family followed by a celebration of life in the summer.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to The Branford Land Trust P.O Box 254, Branford, CT 06405 and please, make sure to get out and vote! To sign the online guestbook please visit

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