Cedar - Myra Sylvia Kirchhoff, 92, passed away Monday, September 7, 2020 at Smith County Memorial Hospital, Smith Center, KS.
Myra was born March 1, 1928 in Moonta, South Australia, Australia, the third child of August Heinrich and Helena Thekla Jericho. She was baptized at Tiparra Lutheran Church on April 1, 1928. She was confirmed at Port Neill St. Andrews Congregation November 23, 1941 by Pastor Chris Stolz. Myra attended school at Kainton, York Peninsula, Cummins, Eyres Peninsula, Butler 1 year and Mt. Hill 2 years.
Myra worked the Butler Telephone Exchange and ran the post office from 1944-1953. This was followed by doing domestic work until the end of 1954, she then worked at Immanuel College doing domestic work until May 1956. In October 1956 she felt called to serve in Papua New Guinea where she worked at Katherine Lehmann School as a lay Missionary in charge of cooking for children and guests and took care of guest houses. On December 4, 1959 she married Gilbert Kirchhoff who was also a lay Missionary. They remained at Wau until February 1965, when they went on leave for 1 year, spending 6 months in Australia and 6 months in U.S.A. On return to New Guinea they were stationed in Mount Hagen, then to Ogelbang and finally Banz before returning to the U.S.A. in December 1971 to live. In 1972 Myra and family lived at Gaylord for a little over a year before moving to Cedar. She and her family attended St. John Athol Lutheran Church where she was active in teaching Sunday School, VBS and the Women of ELCA. Myra’s faith was especially important to her and sustained her throughout her life and through many challenges. One of the most difficult times was when she came to the United States with her husband and children, leaving her mother and large extended family behind, with no guarantee she would see them again. Myra loved listening to music, playing the piano, and singing. At the end of each day she would play the piano and the family would sing during evening devotions. In doing so she passed on this love of music to her children. During times spent in the hospital, her family played the Christian music she loved which calmed and comforted her. Myra loved watching birds from her living room window. Myra loved to sew and knit. The sewing was a necessity during the time when her family was young as a missionary’s life is not a wealthy life and Myra sewed many needed clothes. Myra knitted at home and carried her knitting with her when she went places and taught many others to knit. Myra also enjoyed working with quilts for Lutheran World Relief. Myra liked to cook and cooked many a meal for family and friends. Later in life, Myra and Gilbert were fortunate enough to visit Australia several times and Papua New Guinea once. Many members of her family and former missionaries both from Australia and the US also came to visit her and Gilbert in the US. Another activity Myra enjoyed was word and board games and puzzles. During the family’s time in New Guinea there was no television, so this was how the family entertained themselves. Myra and Gilbert played games and did puzzles up to the day Myra entered the hospital, with Myra beating Gilbert in Upwords that day.
Myra loved her Lord, her husband, her family and their children and her Australian family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Erwin and Harold Jericho, Ruth Woolford and Fay Story.
Myra is survived by her husband Gilbert Kirchhoff of Cedar; five children, Anthony (Jane) Kirchhoff of Stuttgart, Gary Kirchhoff of Gaylord, Joanne (Jay) Kugler of Billings, MT, Wendy (Phil) Handsaker of Dodge City, Lynette (Jerry) Voorhees of Phillipsburg; a brother Colin Jericho, two sisters, Rita Jahnke and Gwen Leske, sister-in-law Erna Jericho all of Australia, twelve grandchildren, Alyssa (Travis) Stites, Colin (Alissa) Kirchhoff, Derek Reed, Brennan and Saige Kirchhoff, Jeremey and Jessica Kugler, Lucas, Zachary and Remington Warren, Samantha Voorhees and Sabrina (fiancé` Rico Garcia) Voorhees and five great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 12, 2020 at St. John Lutheran Church, Athol, with Pastor Bob Sinclair officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. with family present to greet friends from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, 113 S. Madison St., Smith Center, KS and 9:00 a.m. until service time at the church on Saturday. Burial will take place in the church cemetery. Memorials may be given to St. John Lutheran Church, Athol and can be sent in care of the funeral chapel.