Ellen B. Kirchner
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Ellen Boice Kirchner, 96, of Suring passed away on July 13, 2023 in her home surrounded by her loving family. Ellen was born on January 30, 1927, in Kingston, New York to the late George and Nellie Boice. She graduated from Kingston High School in 1944. She graduated from Kingston Hospital through the war program in 1947. She was united in marriage to Elmer Martin Kirchner on November 9, 1947, in Kingston, New York. Elmer would routinely joke that the only reason he won her heart was because all the "good" guys had gone off to war. Little did he know the plans the Lord had for them and the legacy the two of them would create. They were blessed with six children in New York before moving their family to Kenosha, Wisconsin and bringing three more of God's children into this world.
Ellen's 96 years of life on this side of heaven are an inspiration to all who knew her. The family never met a woman more described by the Proverbs 31 woman, "Her children arise and call her blessed...a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Ellen was a picture of true strength and dignity, she spoke wisdom and faithful instruction, and her children most definitely call her blessed. Throughout her life she embraced family devoting her life to her nine children, 40 grandchildren, 83 great grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren. She was a woman with great faith and Godly character. She lived her life as a true example of Jesus light. Ellen was an authentic example of what a wife should be. She had unconditional love and respect for the man, given to her by God. She loved him and dealt with his shenanigans with grace. They had the love and respect figured out, their devotion to God and each other was something to be admired.
Not only did Ellen have a strong passion for God and her family, but health and people. She was always concerned about other people and eager to pass on information that may help them in need. As her family grew and some moved farther from home, it didn't stop her from passing on articles and wisdom through mail and phone calls. Her wisdom of the body God gave us was something she longed to pass on.
She always looked for the best in people and never wanted others to make a "fuss" about her, even though we all unanimously knew she was a "big deal" and knew we were blessed. So gentle and loving but solid and stern when needed, she could manage her entire household with simply, silence and a look. She watched over her household and was never idle, tending to her garden every year even to her final days. She wasn't easily convinced that her raised garden beds this year would be better for her. She thought they were the silliest thing. Ellen most definitely believed she was able to keep gardening the old fashion way. Her house was frequently busy with family and she was always sure to have food on the table. When the house was full of conversation and laughter, many times she would just sit and take it all in, listening and absorbing, her laughter so pure and genuine.
She was dedicated to her life's calling in each season of life. She worked as an OB Registered Nurse until having children, then returned to the health care field after they were grown, until retiring at the age of 87. She worked for Clark County Rehabilitation and Living Center until they moved to Suring in 2002. She was then employed by Suring Health and Rehabilitation Center until she retired. She was an active member of St. John's church in Suring, WI.
Oh, how we will miss you! So many memories and moments through 96 years of life. We could write a book of regarding the impact she made on all who knew her. Even the little things, her intentional listening and her responses starting with "the thing of it is", the homemade fruit roll ups she would make and send all her children in the mail on their birthdays, her personal golf cart she would drive around her property, the pureness in her laugh, the honesty in her emotions that those beautiful hymns brought out.
Her legacy will live on in all that loved her, looked up to her and admired her. She often would wonder why she was still here, why Jesus hadn't come to take her home. Simply because her job wasn't finished yet, we still needed her here and now she has been given her reward; the beautiful gift of heaven, the joyous reunion with her loved ones, and the amazing voice of God saying "Well done my good and faithful servant". What a wonderful reunion it will be when each one us are united together again. So this isn't goodbye but, "We will see you again in our heavenly home."
Ellen is survived by her children Ellen Gvozdenovic of Kenosha, Earl (Marilyn) Kirchner of Appleton, Doug (Mary Lou) Kirchner of Owen, Kim (Janet) Kirchner of Cecil, Nellie (Greg) Hollatz of Boulder, Montana, Paul (Linda) Kirchner of Suring, Susan (Al) Johnson of Pleasant Prairie, Gayle (John) Morman of Burlington, Kurt Kirchner (deceased), (Debra) of Wausau, 40 grandchildren and spouses, 83 great-grandchildren and spouses, 7 great-great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Kirchner, son Kurt Kirchner, parents, and six siblings.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at St. John Lutheran Church-Hayes from 10 am until the funeral service at 11 am with Pastor Nick Buchholz officiating. Ellen will be interred at Globe Lutheran Cemetery beside her husband. Gruetzmacher Funeral Home in Suring is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be expressed at www.gruetzmacherfuneralhome.com.