Larry (Skip) Edward Kirchman (81) of Rio Creek, beloved husband, father, papa to four grandchildren, brother, and faithful servant was called to eternal life on Tuesday evening, April 25, 2023 at the Jack and Engrid Meng Unity Hospice Residence after struggling with a chronic, complex heart condition. Born in Algoma on May 5, 1941, Larry was a cherished son of Herman and Beatrice (Novak) Kirchman. Larry married the love of his life, Judy Ann Spitzer at St. Peter Catholic Church in Lincoln on November 27, 1965.
In 1959 he graduated from Casco High School and began a long career with Casco Telephone Company. He worked his way literally from the ground up, from climbing telephone poles as a young man, to ushering in an era of technological advances in cable television and phone communication, retiring as Plant Supervisor of Century Link after 35 years of service. His semi-retired work life transitioned to that of bus driver. Many children, families, and colleagues of the Luxemburg-Casco School District warmly remember Skip as their bus driver, a job he embraced in his retirement for 20 years.
Larry was called to a life of service. He served his country as a cook in the U.S. Army Reserves, and later in life joined fellow veterans as a member of the American Legion Honor Guard. He was elected to the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors for 16 years, served as Lincoln Town Supervisor for 34 years, was a member of the Algoma School Board for 16 years, attended to his St. Peter parish in Lincoln as a council member for 6 years, and saw to the resources of the aging as a member of the Kewaunee County Elderly Services Committee for 3 years. His family and those who knew him best credit his calm, even-tempered nature and attention to detail as assets in this work of advocating for the shared common good of his community. Larry lived a faith-filled life by action and deed.
Larry’s pride and joy was his family. Together, he and Judy raised two daughters, Chris and Jen. He worked hard, but when the day was done he was always on the ready for a game of catch, yard jarts, or to shoot hoops with his daughters until the sun was low on the horizon. He enthusiastically welcomed the many events that would come as his family grew - baptisms and birthdays, first communions, confirmations, and graduations. Grandpa could be counted on for rides on his lawn mower, trips to Donny Walter’s Hardware for some candy, and his weekend morning breakfast specialty, french toast and “circle meat.” Larry loved to be outside. He championed many a camping trip to Jellystone Park, and passed down his appreciation for a good campfire. He enjoyed the particulars of tending a meticulous lawn and sharing far and wide the bounty of vegetables and autumn pumpkins from his garden. Perhaps most of all, he offered his children and grandchildren the gift of unwavering support and encouragement. You always knew he had your back. He has left an enduring legacy and a road map for living a Christian life of faith, caring for things bigger than oneself, working hard at any job, serving with dignity, and being an all-in family man.
He will be deeply missed by his family and friends. Larry is survived by his wife Judy, children Christine (Martin) Van Hulle, Jenifer (Dr. Swen) Hilander. Grandchildren: Aaron Van Hulle (fiance Kailee Peterson), Abigail Van Hulle, Kathryn Van Hulle, Ilse Beatrice Kirchman-Hilander. Sister Barbara (John) Rogers, sister-in-law June Kirchman, brother-in-law, Dennis (Kathy) Spitzer, mother-in-law Eunice Spitzer.
Larry was preceded in death by and welcomed to his heavenly home by his parents Herman and Beatrice (Novak) Kirchman, sister Ruth (Alfred) Paradise, sister Pearl (Roderick) Jadin, brother Willard Kirchman, father-in-law Donald Spitzer, Godson Jason Rogers.
Visitation will take place Friday, April 28 at Kinnard Funeral Home, Casco from 4:00 - 7:00 pm with the rosary prayed at 7:00 pm. A visitation will continue at 11:00 am at St. Peter Catholic Church, Lincoln. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 pm, Fr. Edward Looney officiating. Burial will be held at a later date at the Evergreen Cemetery, Algoma. Online condolence messages may be shared at KinnardFCS.com. Larry’s family would like to especially thank Dawn Nissen, APNP St. Vincent Hospital Valve Clinic, the Froedtert Cardiac Advanced Care team, and the caregivers at the Jack and Engrid Unity Hospice Residence. Larry and Judy want to thank their neighbors Tom and Della Vogel for their many acts of help and kindness. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be gathered by the family and donated to organizations that were important to Larry.