Cauliflower Alley Club has announced the passing of NWA legend Willis Kirby better known as Roger Kirby. He recently had a fall and doctors discovered he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He contracted pneumonia and died today aged 79.
Kirby competed throughout the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. He will be remembered for his time with the National Wrestling Alliance, where he is a former NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion.
wRESTle in Peace
Roger (Willis) Kirby
I don't have the words to say just how broken-hearted I am at this moment. I just got a call from Roger Kirby's wife, Lila. Roger passed away this afternoon at age 79. He fell three weeks ago and broke his hip. In the hospital, they discovered that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He contracted pneumonia and died today.
Roger and I traveled together whenever he came to Tennessee. At our reunion here in 2009, he stood up in front of everyone and told them that I had always been his best friend; and that I was the only person who stayed in touch regularly in the years after we got out of the business. We talked regularly, and every time, before he hung up, he always thanked me for being his friend.
Many people come in and out of out lives during our lifetimes, but there are only a select few we can truly say we loved. For me, Roger is one those special few.
I will never forget Roger or the great times we had together on the road. God bless you, Roger. I will never forget you. Thank you for your friendship. wRESTle in Peace.
Photo taken by Scott Teal at the Trevecca Nazarene College yearbook office/studio in 1977.