Janice Elaine (Tinkham) Kirchgessner, age 85, passed away November 26, 2021. She was preceded in death by her darling daughter Molly and her beloved husband of 53 years Bob Kirchgessner. Loving Mother of Peg (Dean) Koenigs, the late Molly (Larry) Schuler, Carrie (Jim) Donaldson, Ellen (Jay) Rendos, Bob (Sue) Kirchgessner Jr, Jane (Paul) Zawacki-McCarthy and Katie (Rob) Meilinger. Dear grandmother to 20 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Fond sister of the late Daniel (Betsey) Tinkham and Dave (Tommye) Tinkham. Cherished Aunt to many nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Janice attended Marywood Academy and East Grand Rapids High School. She graduated with a degree in education from the University of Michigan where she was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority and met many lifelong friends. She also fell in love with Bob Kirchgessner when he was giving her a ride back to Ann Arbor; it was the start of a lifetime full of laughter and love for each other. For the past 10 years since Bob’s passing, Janice had a smile on her face when talking about him and their marriage.
Janice taught school before she became a full-time mother of 7, experience she used to help create the Children’s Workshop in the 1970s. She also had a successful career in real estate. She was an excellent writer and sent entertaining letters to her children when they were in college.
Janice enjoyed being with friends and family. She enthusiastically attended and supported countless school activities and sporting events for her children and grandchildren. She always looked for the positive in people and was genuinely interested in what others were doing. She had a quiet strength and confidence. She unconditionally loved her children and grandchildren. Family was her priority and she passed that love of family to her children and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Friday December 17th from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home with a Rosary at 5:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday December 18th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephen's Catholic Church, 750 Gladstone, East Grand Rapids. There will also be a visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 at St. Stephens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to D.A. Blodgett/ St. John's Home or to the charity of your choice.
Charity of your choice
D. A. Blodgett / St. John's Homes and Hope for Children
805 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503