Henry Kirchner (1923-2008)Published on June 10th, 2009 | By: Peter Wray
Sept. 9, 1923 – Dec. 11, 2008
Kirchner, a long-time resident of State College, died Dec. 11,
2008, at The Fairways at Brookline Village, following a long illness.
Born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., he was the son of the late Henry Paul
Kirchner, Sr. and Marguerite Van Ormer Kirchner.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Catherine Parsons, who he
married on Nov. 11, 1950. He also is survived by his sons, Peter Daniel
Kirchner of Putnam Valley, N.Y.; James William Kirchner of Zurich,
Switzerland; and Robert Lindsay Kirchner of Lilongwe, Malawi; and their
Kirchner served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Europe
during World War II. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
from Cornell University, where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi
Fraternity and played championship golf and badminton.
He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Penn State in 1955.
He was employed by Linden Laboratories, The Cornell Aeronautical
Laboratory and Corning Glass Works prior to founding his own firm,
Ceramic Finishing Co. of State College, where he held the position of
He authored numerous scientific and technical publications during
his career and was awarded dozens of patents. He also authored a book
on strenghening ceramics. He was a Fellow of The American Ceramic
In addition to being an avid reader, Mr. Kirchner also loved the
outdoors and enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing, backpacking, skiing and
whitewater canoeing. He had a life-long affinity for the lakes, streams
and mountains of the Adirondacks, where he spent nearly every summer
vacation with his family.
Services were held Dec. 14, 2008, at the Kirchner home in State
College. Memorial contributions can be made to The Nature Conservancy,
Adironack Chapter, 8 Nature Way, Keene Valley, N.Y. 12943.
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