May 13, 2010


Lena Anna Kirby, 95, of Memphis, Missouri, passed away Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at the Scotland County Memorial Hospital in Memphis. She was born May 18, 1914 at Benson, Illinois, to Cornelius Friedrich and Anna Marie Bauman Janssen. She attended school in Benson, Illinois, after which she completed study at a trade school for interior decorating. Lena also worked for some time as an assistant in a beauty shop.

She married Leslie Edward Kirby on December 27, 1941, in The Old Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri and to this union three children were born. Her husband preceded her in death in 1992.

Lena was a mother and homemaker and assisted her husband in their farming operation when they moved to Missouri in 1953. She was a member of St. John Catholic Church in Memphis, St. John Catholic Church Altar and Rosary Society, and the Ladies Auxiliary V.F.W.

She is survived by a son, Daniel Jay Kirby and his wife, Jeannette, of Cantril, Iowa; two daughters: Lucinda Aldridge and her husband, Gary, of Memphis, Missouri; Melinda Emel of Kirksville, Missouri; eight grandchildren: Angela Dial and her husband, Steve, Memphis, Missouri; Amy Thrasher and her husband, John, Winter Springs, Florida; Michael Aldridge and his wife, Tanya, Columbia, Missouri; Dannette Liles and her husband, Randy, Columbia, Missouri; Jodi Smith and her husband, Jeff, Memphis, Missouri; Scott Kirby and his wife, Gloria, Quincy, Illinois; Melissa Emel, Memphis, Missouri and Jason Emel and his special friend, Robyn Carter, Bible Grove, Missouri. Other survivors include eleven great grandchildren: Kasey Dial, Hailey Dial, Emiley Dial, Austin Thrasher, Alexa Thrasher, Andrew Thrasher, Addyson Aldridge, Danniele Liles, Ciara Smith, Megan Kirby, Leah Kirby; three special children: Chelsea Burkhiser, Kyler Burkhiser and Hunter Carter; a brother, Willis Janssen and his wife, Carol, Benson, Illinois; two sisters-in-law: Rita Kirby Hoog and her husband, Frank, Washington, Illinois; Amelia Janssen, Benson, Illinois; nieces, nephews and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, three brothers: Jacob Janssen, John Janssen, Carl Janssen; six sisters: Lucille Garrels, Marie Moritz, Antilla Schroeder, Henrietta Casey, Dorothy Koch, and Anna-Elizabeth Janssen.

Funeral services were held at St. John Catholic Church in Memphis on Friday, May 7, 2010, at 11 A.M with Reverend Joseph Hoi officiating. Music was provided by Nancy Reardon, organist and Brent Karhoff, soloist. Burial followed in the Memphis Cemetery. Casket bearers were Jason Emel, Scott Kirby, Mike Aldridge, Jeff Smith, Steve Dial and Randy Liles. Honorary bearers were John Thrasher, Bruce Childress, George Eggers and Raymond Zimmerman.

Memorials may be made to St. John Catholic Church or Memphis Meals on Wheels and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home at 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555. Online condolences may be made to the Kirby family via Arrangements are under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.

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