Elden D Kirch, 86, of Lewellen passed away Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at the Regional West Garden County Nursing Home in Oshkosh.
Memorial Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 6, 2018 at the Tiger Den in Lewellen with Pastor Jeniffer Brand officiating. Burial will follow in Ash Hollow Cemetery will military honors.
There will be no visitation at the funeral home.
Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Oshkosh is serving the Kirch family.
Elden was born on April 27, 1931, on the family ranch in Gillette, Wyoming to Emil H. and Ethel D. (Haight) Kirch. Later, the family moved to Lance Creek, WY where Elden graduated from Hawk Springs High School. After graduation he joined the Air Force in 1949. Elden was a proud member of the Strategic Air Command and was based in Gander, Newfoundland as well as Fairchild AFB in Washington. If you spent enough time with him, Elden was likely to tell the story about his encounter with General Curtiss LeMay and, like every Air Force member, the love he had for “his airplane” the B-36 (six turning and 4 burning).
Elden met the love of his life. Virginia L. (Kirkpatrick) in Chadron, NE and they were married on September 12, 1958. After getting married, he took his new bride to Logan Utah and finished his BS in Wildlife Biology and Management at Utah State University. From there they spent two years in the wilds of northern Saskatchewan working for the Canadian Fisheries doing research. Following the Canadian adventure, they decided that they wanted to settle down, so Elden got his teaching certificate from Chadron State College in 1960. He went on to teach Industrial Arts/Drafting and several other subjects over 32 years. The couple settled in Lewellen, NE in 1961 where he started his teaching career. He taught over his career in three school systems, Lewellen, NE, Chino, CA and finally 27 years in Garden County High School in Oshkosh, NE until he retired in 1993. Elden was innovative in his teaching and was one of the first individuals in the country to institute a home construction project as a part of his curriculum. As a result, he was awarded the Teacher of the Year in Industrial Education. He was very proud of all his students and especially his students who went on to work in industrial and construction careers. He was always involved in woodworking of some form ever since he was introduced to the discipline when he attended John Brown University’s prep school program of Siloam Springs, AR during WWII. His interests also included gardening which he turned into a summer business.
Elden was a devoted father and husband. He is survived by son Duane Kirch and wife Rita and two grandsons, Tristan of Gering, NE and Trey of Lewellen, NE, son Brett Kirch and wife Alicia of Fort Collins, CO, son Paul Kirch and grandson Bradley and granddaughter Annelise all of Fort Worth, TX, and his sister Lucille Rike of Pueblo, CO.
He was preceded in death by his parents Emil and Ethel Kirch and wife Virginia.