Grover Leroy Kirsch
Grover Leroy Kirsch
  • February 20, 1925 - May 7, 2017
  • Fayette, Missouri

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Grover Leroy Kirsch, 92, left this earthly world for his new home in Heaven on May 7, 2017.

Grover was born on the family farm near Lilbourn, MO (in southeast MO) on February 20, 1925. His parents were Arthur Kirsch and Luella Bischoff Kirsch. His mother died when he was 3 years old so he grew up in a motherless household. Two older sisters, Eulalia and Audrey, helped raise him.

Like so many of that era, he graduated from Lilbourn High School in 1943, with World War II raging across the globe. Later that same year, he entered the U.S. Army and began training to be a pharmacy technician in the Medical Corps. His training took him to several different locations across the country. He commented that he never stayed in any place long enough to make friends. His final training was at the Medical School at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver, CO. Even though his training was medical, he qualified as a sharpshooter in Rifle training.

His war service was in the Pacific Theatre; serving in both the Philippines and Japan. He was with the 29th Evacuation Hospital for 12 months. He remembered snow piled 6 foot high that winter he spent in Japan. And he never would eat fish or rice!

After his honorable discharge in April of 1946, he returned to the family farm. His sister Audrey invited him to the skating rink one evening and introduced him to a friend of hers, Virginia Huey. They were married May 15, 1949.

Having always had an interest in automobiles and engines, Grover enrolled at the Chicago Motive Trades Institute; Division of Commercial Trades Institute. By May 1950 he had completed training courses in Diesel Mechanics, Body and Fender Rebuilding and Automotive Mechanics. A job with a trucking company took the young couple to St. Louis. After living in St. Louis for several years, they purchased their first home in the Illinois suburb of Cahokia. ABF Freight purchased the local freight company and Grover spent the rest of his career working for ABF.

Both daughters (Deshay Kirsch Rust, Michelle Kirsch Red) were born while living in Cahokia.

When ABF built a terminal in Cape Girardeau, MO, Grover transferred there in 1965 as a dispatcher. He retired there in 1990 as operations supervisor. In 1992 Grover and Virginia decided to spend their retirement years closer to their daughter Deshay, in Columbia, MO. So they moved to Columbia in November and spent over 20 years together there, enjoying their retirement years. Virginia died in May 2013.

Grover was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. Upon moving to Columbia, he quickly became a Missouri Tigers basketball fan. He enjoyed reading, automobiles and road trips, vegetable gardening and playing card games, especially pinochle. His church and his beliefs were important and were exemplified by the life he led. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church for many years. He was a kind and gentle man though quiet and private until you got to know him. Then he was quite the jokester and loved family gatherings.

He is survived by both daughters, Deshay (Stephen) Rust of Columbia, MO and Michelle (Mike) Red of Liberty Hill, TX, granddaughters, April (Coby) Corley and Delaney Red plus several dear nephews and nieces and their families.

A graveside service will be held later this summer at Stanfield Cemetery near Clarkton, MO. All family and friends will be invited to join in the celebration of a life well-lived.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to Faith Family Church, PO Box 512, 710 Highway 240, Fayette, MO 65248.