Merced County Times Newspaper
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Jean Kirby: Granny’s Pantry will never be the same without her

Atwater will never have another like Jean Kirby, who will never be replaced at Granny’s Pantry where she took care of customers with a spicy sauce which made her special.

She died April 24 after a battle with cancer.

Atwater’s City Council gave her a special honor at their meeting, and many of the community who were regulars at the cafe morned her loss.

She came from Kettering, England; spending time in Texas before meeting her husband Kenneth. She had a daughter named Jackie. When she arrived in Atwater she went to work as a waitress. The cafe went through several owners, John Connolly, Ken and Peggy Huie, and then Kirby and her son in law, Don Cook bought it.

No customer was left alone when they came to the cafe. Whether they liked it or not, they got “the treatment” from Jean.

That is the reason they kept coming back. It was all in fun, and went over big time.

It became a meeting place for so many people and clubs and organizations. No group too big, and no group too small.

In the end she could hardly walk, but personally greeting her customers was so important she would be there most days to see they were seated right, and were also recognized properly.

Everyone loved her approach to doing business. She will be missed while her daughter Jackie and husband Don Cook continue the legacy.

Private services were already held at Santa Nella, cemetery. Also there was a service at Wilson Family Funeral Home.

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