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 spouses.
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 president.
He authored numerous scientific and technical publications during his career and was awarded dozens of patents. He also authored a book on strengthening ceramics. He was a Fellow of The American Ceramic Society.
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.