Eugene “Gene” Joseph Kirby of Belfast passed away Jan. 7, 2012 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He was born Oct. 5, 1924 in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

Gene attended Boston Trade High School, received his bachelor’s degree in education at Fitchburg, Mass. and his master’s degree in education at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Gene was a U.S. Navy veteran, having joined at the start of World War II when he was 17. He served aboard the destroyer escort USS Reuben James and saw action in anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and North Atlantic.

After the war, he married Helen Harrington and had two children. He taught industrial arts in Boston schools where he also coached baseball. Later he became the superintendent of the regional vocational school (Keefe Tech) in Framingham, Mass.

Gene and Helen retired to Belfast in the early 1980s and operated one of the town’s first B&Bs, the Horatio Johnson House on Church Street. Helen died in 1997, and in 1999 Gene married Eileen Dullahan. They made their home on Court Street.

Gene was a skilled and artistic woodcarver — one of his achievements is the gold-plated eagle that adorns Belfast City Hall. He served for many years on the Belfast Planning Board where he was known as “Mr. 4-to-1.” He also served on the school board of the technical high school. He was a member of the Penobscot Bay Carvers and was instrumental in the creation of the Sea Services Monument in Falmouth.

Gene was a dedicated member of the ROMEO Club (Retired Old Men Eating Out) which met each morning at McDonalds.

Gene was a lifelong Red Sox fan, starting as a boy when he helped move turnstiles in exchange for free admission to Fenway Park.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen; his daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Richard Marciante of Cotuit, Mass.; his son, Eugene “Sam” Kirby; his grandchildren, Alex and Leah Marciante, Ben, Samantha and Nathan Kirby; and three great-grandchildren, Mirabella, Adrianna and Alex Marciante.

There will be no immediate service, but a memorial service will be held later in the year. Burial will be at the Bourne Veterans Cemetery on Cape Cod.

Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. Online condolences may be offered to the family at