Obituary: Edward F. Kirwin (1939-2023)

Edward F. Kirwin, 83, of Middletown, RI, passed away on June 1, 2023 in Newport. He was the husband of JoAnne (Glynn) Kirwin.

Ed retired from the Middletown Fire Department as the last Deputy Fire Chief in the department and served the town of Middletown, rising through the ranks, for over 30 years.

Ed was born in Newport to James M. Kirwin, Jr. and Mary E. (Murphy) Kirwin on September 13, 1939. He went to high school at De La Salle Academy in Newport and graduated in 1957. He went on to earn an Associate degree in Fire Science from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Ed lived for his time spent on the beach and on the water – especially his time surfing, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, and enjoying time with family and friends at each of the island’s many beaches. Many family vacations were spent skiing the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. In addition to his years of service as a firefighter, Ed volunteered many hours with the Newport Red Cross and the Newport Preservation Society. However, Ed’s greatest joy was in the time he spent with his grandchildren, his niece’s children, and the numerous other children that his wife cared for as a nurse. He shared many stories and his love of outdoor activities – especially on the water.

Ed is survived by his wife of 59 years, JoAnne, of Middletown, his daughter, Jacqueline, of Salem, MA, his son, Edward, daughter-in-law, Dana, granddaughter, Cameron, and grandson, Liam of Beverly Farms, MA. In addition, Ed is survived by his brother, James M. Kirwin, III, and sister-in-law, Joan, of Middletown. Four nieces – Karleen Regan of Middletown, Kathy Costello of Middletown, Jamie Witteveen of Portsmouth, and Tracey Zysk of Derry, NH. He is preceded in death by his parents James and Mary Kirwin.

Visiting hours will be held Sunday, June 4, 2023 from 3-6 pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday, June 5, 2023 at St. Mary’s Church, corner of Spring St & Memorial Blvd, Newport at 10 am. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made in Ed’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 (, the Middletown Rescue Wagon Association, 239 Wyatt Road, Middletown, RI 02842, or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 (




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