The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


May 13, 2012

Helen Marie Kirchner


Helen Marie Kirchner, 80, retired registered nurse, of Austin, Texas, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends on April 24, 2012.

She was born on Dec. 5, 1931, in Carthage, Mo., grew up there, and was married to James Martin Kirchner in 1950.  After her husband died in 1954, while on active duty with the U.S. Border Patrol, she relocated with their two young children to Corpus Christi, Texas.

To support her family as a single mother, Helen Marie attended James R. Dougherty School of Nursing/Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi. As an RN, she worked at Spohn, at McCune-Brooks in Carthage, Mo., and at Memorial in Corpus Christi, before joining the Eckhardt, Sloan and Renfro medical practice as Dr. Norman L. Renfro's staff nurse. In 1989, she joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, in the Aston Ambulatory Care Clinic. After retiring in 1998, she relocated near family in Austin.

With her family, friends and church communities a central focus, Helen Marie enjoyed many outings and travels, both in the U.S. and Europe. She was an avid birdwatcher and gardener, and with her ancestral ties to the Scottish Highlands, enjoyed a special affinity for the Isle of Skye.

Helen Marie was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; her father and mother, Judge and Missouri State Representative Walter E. Bailey and Helen Fay Bailey; her brothers, Harrison, Lige and John, and her sister Mildred.

Helen Marie is survived by her daughter, Carol Marie Weiss and son, James Martin Kirchner; eight grandchildren; seven nieces and three nephews; many great-nieces and great-nephews; daughter-in-law, Paula Kirchner; son-in-law, Linn Weiss; sister-in-law, Jewell Gregory; and brother-in-law, David Kirchner.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial service in Austin at St. John's Episcopal Church, 11201 Parkfield Drive, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19, officiated by Fr. Al Rodriguez. Boze-Mitchell McKibbin Funeral Home, of Waxahachie, Texas, is handling funeral arrangements, including burial transfer to Park City Cemetery in Carthage. A graveside service will be held there at 2 p.m. Monday, May 21, with Fr. Steve Wilson of Grace Episcopal Church officiating.

The family would like to thank all the staff at Hospice Austin for their compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the American Heart Association or the National Kidney Foundation.

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