Joseph Edward “Big Joe” Kirchner, age 81, of Wilmont, died Monday, February 17, 2014, at his home. He was born November 20, 1932, to Joseph P. and Marie C. (Gotmer) Kirchner, in the family home in Fulda. Joseph grew up in Fulda. He was in the local Boy Scouts and played football in high school. He graduated from Fulda High School in 1950. Joseph worked at Interstate Power Company in Fulda for a time before he was drafted into the United States Army. He entered in 1953 and served during the Korean Conflict. Joseph elected to join the 503rd Airborne paratroopers. He was the communications Officer for Easy Company. Joseph was discharged in 1955. He returned to civilian life and was called to farming.
He was united in marriage to Lois Burns on April 17, 1961, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Brewster. To the couple three daughters were born, Lori, Lucy & Lynne. The couple has farmed in the rural Fulda & Wilmont areas all their married lives. The current home place was purchased in 1968. The couple raised feeder and stock cows, pigs, chickens, occasionally other poultry and corn, alphalfa, soybeans, and other small grains. A tornado hit the farm in 1998, nearly wiping out the farm building site, but they chose to rebuild and continue to live at the home place.
He was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Wilmont; a former Grand Knight of the OLGC Knights of Columbus; and a current member of the Fulda Legion for over sixty five years. Joseph loved to travel on day trips to see relatives close by and occasionally traveling to Arizona & Michigan to visit relatives. He enjoyed polka music, fishing, football, both the Minnesota Vikings and watching and attending his grandchildren’s high school athletic events. Joseph never missed a game, traveling all over the area, even to the Metrodome. He will be remembered with fondness at his caring, hardworking, and upstanding individualism.
Joseph is survived by his three daughters, Lori (Galen) Kruse, Heron Lake; Lucy Carlin, Wilmont; and Lynne Hart, Wilmont; four grandchildren, Levi Kruse, currently serving in the US Navy in Bremerton, WA; Melissa Carlin, Winona; Michelle Hart, Sioux Falls, SD; and Anne Hart, Wilmont; a great grandson, Jaden (Kruse) Post, Mankato; and a sister, Janet Stappenbeck, Fennville, MI.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lois Kirchner, on February 9, 2014; a grandson, Gavin Kruse; and a brother, Howard Kirchner.
A time of fellowship will be from 4-7 pm Wednesday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Wilmont; and also one hour prior to the funeral on Thursday. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 am Thursday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, in Wilmont, officiated by Fr. Andrew Beerman. Burial of cremains will be at the Calvary Cemetery in Wilmont.
Dingmann Funeral Home, in Wilmont is in charge of arrangements.
To view an online obituary, sign a virtual register book, or order flowers, please visit www.dingmannandsons.com