We are saddened to learn of the passing of ‘Nature Boy’ Rober Kirby. He was 79-years-old and the news was first reported on Monday evening by historian and author Scott Teal on the Cauliflower Alley Facebook page.

Kirby was suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and had recently fallen and broken his hip. He was also recently diagnosed with pneumonia.

Teal wrote a touching tribute as he shared the sad news of Kirby’s passing.

wRESTle in Peace
Roger (Willis) Kirby


I don’t have the words to say just how broken-hearted I am at this moment. I just got a call from Roger Kirby’s wife, Lila. Roger passed away this afternoon at age 79. He fell three weeks ago and broke his hip. In the hospital, they discovered that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He contracted pneumonia and died today.

Roger and I traveled together whenever he came to Tennessee. At our reunion here in 2009, he stood up in front of everyone and told them that I had always been his best friend; and that I was the only person who stayed in touch regularly in the years after we got out of the business. We talked regularly, and every time, before he hung up, he always thanked me for being his friend.

Many people come in and out of out lives during our lifetimes, but there are only a select few we can truly say we loved. For me, Roger is one those special few.

I will never forget Roger or the great times we had together on the road. God bless you, Roger. I will never forget you. Thank you for your friendship. wRESTle in Peace.

Our thoughts are with Roger Kirby’s family and friends during this sad time. RIP.

Harry Kettle

Sports writer covering pro wrestling, MMA & football. Forever dreaming of a world where Jeff Hardy wins the strap one more time.

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