Kenneth Gerhard Kirchner
January 30, 1928 – July 30, 2021
Always in our hearts
Kenneth Gerhard Kirchner, age 93, passed away at Blue Hill Care Center on July 30, 2021 after a short illness. He was surrounded by his family as he walked into eternity with his Savior, Jesus Christ.
Kenneth was born on his family farm south of Lawrence, Nebraska on January 30, 1928. His parents were John and Clara Kirchner, who made the farmstead home for 8 children. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings (Eleanora, Walter, Lydia, Wilfred, Robert, Donald, and Mildred).
Ken graduated from Lawrence High School in 1945. He took over the family farm at age 19 due to his father’s early death. He applied himself to his farm duties and was content raising his family with Mom and serving his church and local community. Ken served and attended Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont.
On November 2, 1952, Kenneth married Margaret Dorothy Heineman and shared many adventures over the next 65 years. They raised seven children: Marvin (Carol) Kirchner – Kevin, Scott and Lisa; Wilbur (Patricia) Kirchner – Rebecca, Matthew, Rachel and Hannah; Connie (Courtney) Meyer – Caleb, Joshua and Anna; nephew Randall (Cindy) Linke – Misty, Mandy and Randall; Linda (Kyle) Hollman – Nora and Trent, James (Jackie) Kirchner – Joseph, Jami and Tara; and Beth (Scott) Bowman – Christine, Nathan and nieces Abigail and Olivia. Over the years Ken and Margaret delighted to watch their kids, grandkids, great-grandkids (14), and one great-great grandchild begin their own adventures in life, which was “icing on the cake” of lives well lived!
Kenneth had broad interests. He was a dreamer/doer - widely read in Christian & world history, economics, politics, technology, poetry, philosophy…and farming. He was opinionated and vocal but loved the polemic (discourse) as much as the politics. You could pick the topic and the position, and he would debate the other side. He was a “go to” guy in the community for many construction/trade skills…as well as general wisdom.
Ken was a servant leader. He was Sunday School superintendent in his church for over 25 years, representative to national church conventions, taught shop skills in 4-H, served on the local school board for 12 years, served on the Rural Electric Association BOD for 28 years…did the dishes and was always a ready hand to help neighbors. He was Mom’s primary care giver during her illness until her death in 2018.
Dad loved Jesus…but wouldn’t say it that way. He led his family as a Godly father - baptized and confirmed, disciplined and encouraged, cheered and celebrated, sacrificed and supported. Family devotions were never missed. He rarely said “I love you” which is just “not the German way”. He occasionally said, “I’m proud of you”, but showed it much more frequently in other ways…bragging effusively about his children when they were not within ear shot. He brightened when any of his children or grandchildren called and was an encourager as they faced life’s challenges.
Ken blessed his family. Love was unconditional, encouragement genuine and timely, and wise counsel available whenever needed. He will be sorely missed by his kids and grandkids, extended family and many, many friends. He was at peace as his final days approached and believed with all his heart Jesus’ words to Martha in John 11: 25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (NIV)
Funeral Services will be held 10:00 am Saturday August 7, 2021 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont, Nebraska. Interment will be in Zion Lutheran Cemetery near the intersection of Rd 2400 and Rd S in Webster Co. Visitation will be Friday 5-7:00 pm at Merten-Butler Funeral Home in Blue Hill, Nebraska. The family requests you bring/send a card with a special memory of Ken, rather than flowers. Donations may be made in Ken’s honor to Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska. Private condolences may be sent to the family at www.mertenbutlermortuary.com. Merten-Butler Mortuary, Blue Hill, Nebraska is in charge of arrangements.
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Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska
124 South 24th Street, Omaha NE 68102