Kathleen Joy Kirbach, 78, of Axtell passed away on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at CHI Health – St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Lincoln, NE. Celebration of life services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Axtell with the Rev. Gale Dorn officiating. Inurnment will be held following services at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Axtell. Current health recommendations for faith based services will be followed and the use of a face mask is encouraged. The service will be streamed to the church’s Facebook page. There will be no visitation as the family has honored Kathleen’s wish for cremation. Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation. Craig Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Kathleen was born on November 26, 1941 in West Point, NE to Arthur Tietz and Gertrude (Kurz) Tietz. She grew up in rural Bancroft and attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Lyons High School.
She was united in marriage to Robert French on June 14, 1959 in Lyons, NE, and to this union six children were born: Bryan, Clay, David (Dave), William (Willy), Stacy and Amy. The family made their home in West Point, where the couple owned and operated their own café. Later, Kathleen was employed by Elkhorn Valley Medical Clinic as Dr. Tibbel’s and Dr. Sucha’s assistant.
On June 16, 1988, Kathleen was remarried to Heinz Kirbach in West Point. They moved to Roseville, MN in 1988. In 1993, they relocated to Aurora, Colorado, where she worked at the Brown Palace Hotel for 20 years. After retiring in September of 2018, Heinz and Kathleen then moved to Axtell, NE.
Kathleen was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church, Bancroft, NE, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Lyons, NE; Redeemer Luther Church, West Point, NE; Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO and Trinity Lutheran, Axtell, NE. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting, knitting, crafting, gardening, fishing and spending time with her family. Kathleen had such strength, charisma and love for the people in her life.
Those left to cherish her memory include: her husband, Heinz of Axtell; sons, Bryan and wife Dana French of Axtell, Clay French of Aurora, CO, Dave and wife Tammy French of Aurora, CO and Willy and wife Kim French of Scribner, NE; daughters, Stacy (French) and husband Rod West of Aurora, CO and Amy French of Aurora, CO; step-son, Andy and wife Michele Kirbach of Melbourne, FL; 18 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister, Carol Sellentin of West Point, NE; as well as a host of extended relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by: her parents; sister, Cynthia Wegner of West Point, NE; brothers, Robert (Bobby) Tietz of Amarillo, TX, William (Billy) Tietz of West Point, NE.
Tributes and memories can be shared with the family at www.craigfunerals.com.