2021 Joe Kirley Tournament (U13) Bracket
(June 15, 1924 - May 26, 2006)
Joseph Kirley was born on June 15, 1924 at Ft. Pierre, SD to Frank and Muriel (Sonnenschein) Kirley. He attended school at Orton Flat and graduated from PHS in 1942. Joe Kirley spent his entire life in the Pierre area, working at J.C. Penney's from 1948 until his retirement in 1989. During his service with the U.S. Army in 1944-46, he fought in Luxembourg and Belgium, was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, and awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.
He was a life member of the American Legion (over 60 years), Post Commander in 1970 and served as the Athletic Officer for 15 years. In 1998 he received the Gold Brigade Membership reward from the National Headquarters of the Legion for outstanding achievement in recruiting new members, the first time that a Post 8 Legionnaire had won the award. He was also a life member of the VFW and the DAV serving as the latter's commander in 1986-87.
Joe was a member of the Pierre Senior Center and a former Member of its’ Board. He was a member and past president of the Pierre Athletic Booster Club, a member of the Pierre Jaycees serving as its president in 1957-58, and the 40 and 8 serving as its Chef du Gare in 1974.
Joe was one of the founding members of the Pierre Boys & Girls Club, and served 40 years on their Executive Board until 1996, and coached the youth in Pierre in basketball for many years at the old gymnasium by the Police Dept. He served two terms on the City's Recreation Board, and served many years on the selection committee for the Pierre High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joe served on the Pierre Post 8 Baseball Board from its’ inception until retiring in 1997, the same year he was chosen as the Legion Baseball Booster of the Year. Joe donated the sign displayed at Hyde Stadium that has the Legion Players Creed. He was a charter member of the Basin League Board of Directors when the semi-pro league played back in the 50's and 60's.
It's really the intangibles that speak to the character of Joe. The thousands of boys and girls lives he touched through his relentless support of youth activities. The hundreds of stories that can be told about his generosity and hours spent helping many programs. He spent hundreds of Bingo nights working at the Legion Cabin to help raise the money needed to support the Legion and VFW Teener baseball programs. Numerous summer vacations were spent driving baseball players to the in and out-of-state games. Joe could also be found at many of the area football and basketball games.
Even when his health was on a downhill slide, he still made it a priority to attend as many Legion and youth baseball games as he could. During his final days in the Hospital, plans were being made to transport him to one last ballgame to watch his Grandson Will Knox pitch, but his health diminished too quickly.
The entire Kirley family (wife Leah of Pierre; two sons Mike Kirley (Kim) of Denham Springs, LA and Bill Kirley (Pam) of Castro Valley, CA; four daughters Nancy Logan (Steve) of Firestone, CO, Merry Nelson of Columbia, NC, Patty Knox (Wes) of Pierre, and in memory of Peggy Ramser; numerous grand and great-grandchildren) would like to express their sincere gratitude to the Pierre American Legion Post 8 organization for the continuation and support of the Annual Joe Kirley Memorial Baseball Tournament that started in July of 2006.
In Memory of Joe Post 8 Baseball has established the 13/14 Joe Kirley Memorial Tournament.