In Memory of AAGD Member Rita Kirby

AAGD Updates,

Rita Maye Kirby-Watts passed away at 79 on Sept. 6, 2021 In Flower Mound, TX.

She will be remembered as a loving mother and grandmother to her family and by many as a leader in the multi-family property management industry. Rita grew up in Borger, TX where she and her two sisters learned their strong work ethic from loving parents Luby and Jonnie Knowles.

Her early life revolved around music. She was the church pianist at Calvary Baptist, was active in the Borger High School choir and sang and played piano for events around town. In May of 1961 she married Jerry Kirby and in 1964 they moved to Dallas with a 2-year-old and a hundred dollars. While Jerry worked part-time and pursued a college degree Rita found a job as an apartment manager with one goal... free rent! Rita and Jerry had 2 sons, Michael Cameron Kirby and Daniel Andrew Kirby and always put them first in their lives. In 1983, Rita married Carlton B. Watts and remained married to her "rock" until his death in 2018.

In their last years, they lived in Sun City in Georgetown, Texas where they enjoyed a wonderful community of friends and neighbors.

Rita's pioneering career spanned over 40 years. She was the first senior management employee of First Property/Equity Residential, the first woman owner of a management company in Dallas, the first woman president of the Dallas Apartment Association, and the first woman on the Board of the National Apartment Association. The Rita Kirby Regional Property Manager of the Year award is still awarded annually by the Texas Apartment Association. Rita is survived by sons Michael and Daniel and their spouses, 3 grandchildren, 6 step-children, their spouses and step-grandchildren. Visitation is at Bluebonnet Hills in Colleyville, TX on Sept.14th from 5-7pm. The funeral is on Sept. 15th at 3pm. To leave condolences please visit