John R. Kirchner, 71 of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota passed away on September 10, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. John’s family was by his side throughout his battle. John, the son of James and Alvina (Trappen) Kirchner, was born on May 22, 1950 in St. Cloud, MN. John proudly served in the United States Army 1st Calvary Division in Vietnam from 1969-1971. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. John lived most of his life in the St. Cloud area until moving to Detroit Lakes in 2010 to be closer to his grandchildren. John was known by many as “Grandpa John”. Grandpa John loved his slots and the casino, fishing at Long Lost Lake and spending time there with Mike, having extraordinary barbeques and shrimp boils, the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Wild, going to deer camp, stopping at M&H each morning for coffee, taking a drive around the lake, eating breakfast with his grandkids at the 59’er, broasted chicken at Sapphire, beef fried rice at Chinese Dragon, Thanksgiving dinner at Sandy’s, he treasured all the friends he made since moving to Detroit Lakes, and especially the friends and relationships he made the last part of his life at Oak Crossing. But the thing Grandpa John loved the most was his grandchildren – Maycen (22), Madilyn (20), Grady (16), Atticus (14), Harper (11) and Balthazar Saint (10). He also enjoyed years of softball tournaments, baseball games, hockey and youth football. He always reminded us of how fast he was, how many homeruns he hit and how Coach Phil should coach differently. Grandpa John’s bucket list was completed last summer when he traveled to Colorado where all of his children and grandchildren could be together. Grandpa John was a proud Vietnam Veteran and he loved his Country and all of his veteran buddies he met over the years.
John is survived by his children and grandchildren: Hai Kirchner and Christina Stone (Thornton, CO), Kiki Christina, Travares, Atticus, Harper and Balthazar Saint Tillman (Arvada, CO), and Phil, Nicole, Maycen, Madilyn and Grady Kirchner (Detroit Lakes, MN); sister Sandra and Jerry Kostreba (Rice, MN), sister in law Rose Kirchner (St. Cloud, MN) and brother Craig Kirchner (St. Cloud, MN). John was preceded in death by his parents, brother Gary Kirchner and sister Jean Kirchner.
The family would like to thank Essentia Oak Crossing for the amazing care and compassion they gave to Grandpa John the last days of his life, the Fargo VA for years of support, and especially all of our friends and family who have shown support in this difficult time. Grandpa John was loved by many and will be missed dearly. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that donations be made in Grandpa John’s honor to Homes for Our Troops (www.hfotusa.org).
Visitation will be held from 11:00-1:00PM on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at the West Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes, MN. Military honors will be held at 12:00PM.