Essie Mae McKellar Kirven, age 80, entered into eternal rest on August 31,2020. God saw fit
to call his servant from labor to reward. She passed at home with family by her side.
Essie Mae McKellar Kirven was born on September 3,1939 in Oglethorpe, Georgia; and is the
daughter of the late Eddie Lee McKellar, Minnie and Maggie McKellar. She attended Macon
County Training School and Spelman College in GA.
Essie Mae relocated to Waterbury, Connecticut where she met and married Leroy Kirven or
“Honey” as she lovingly called him. Essie and Leroy celebrated their 54 th wedding anniversary
this past year. Essie was a dedicated wife and mother. She treasured her children and
embraced all that walked through her front door as if they were her own. Together they
nurtured, loved, and inspired a small village that included their loving daughters, Lori and
Veda Kirven of Raleigh, NC, Catherine Kirven of Waterbury, CT, Lydia Estrada of FT Myers, FL,
and her beloved Godchildren Lourdes Valentin, Joshua Kirven, Jermaine Kirven, and Breia
She dedicated her life to being of service to others. Essie Mae Kirven worked in the
healthcare field for over 40 years; she was a union delegate for District 1199-New England
Health Care Employees Union while employed at Crescent Manor Rehabilitation Center. She
was also a faithful and devoted member of Mount Olive African Methodist Episcopal Zion
Church, serving as the President of the Deaconesses Board.
“Aunt Essie” as many called her opened her heart and home to many. There she celebrated
birthdays, holidays, and life events and encouraged weekly gatherings in “The recreation
room” where she created a safe haven for many. A whole generation of young adults and
their parents became part of her magnificent extended family. The Canadas, Jones, Nichols,
Pellots, Sands, Valentins, and many others, all part of the family created by her love.
Essie Mae led her little tribe by example. She was the pillar of strength and self-respect. Her
life was a living example of the bible verses, Proverbs 31:25-28, “She is clothed with strength
and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful
instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat
the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he
Essie Mae Kirven leaves to cherish her memory her sisters, Gretchen Kirven of FL, Diane
Maree of MI, Hazel Sparkman of CT, her brother Thomas (Lois) McKellar of GA, 11
Grandchildren, 25 Great-Grandchildren, 2 Great-Great Grandchildren and a host of nephews,
nieces, relatives and friends. She is predeceased by her daughter, Eula Brown, brothers,
Johnnie Kleckley, James McKellar, Leonard McKellar, and Edward McKellar.
Viewing ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10 a.m., service will start at 12pm, at the Colonial
Funerals, 270 West Main Street, Waterbury, CT. services are entrusted to Peter Moraski, Funeral Director. The burial will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Calvary Cemetery, 2324 E Main Street, Waterbury, CT. Condolences may be expressed at colonialfunerals.com.