On July 30, 2015, the world lost one of the last true gentlemen: Edward John Kirschner passed away peacefully at his home in Galveston, Texas. He was surrounded by his family, friends, and a lot of love. John fought a 2-year battle with mesothelioma, and his wish was to donate his body to science in the hope that it could be used to further the treatment and search for a cure for this insidious disease.
John was born on July 31, 1942, in Galveston, Texas, and graduated from Ball High School in 1960. He then earned his degree in history from the University of North Texas in Denton in 1964. After college graduation, John joined the U.S. Navy, graduated from The Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and then served on the air craft carrier U.S.S. Hancock CV-19 during the Vietnam War until 1968. John returned to Galveston and married Geni on July 20, 1968. He worked as a computer programmer in Galveston for 39 years until his retirement in 2007.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Josephine McMillan Kirschner and Edward J. Kirschner. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Eugenia “Geni” Figari Kirschner. John also leaves behind his two sons: David Charles Kirschner, his wife, Quynh Tran, and their daughter, Giovanna Theresa, of Liberty Hill, Texas; and Robert Anthony Kirschner, his wife, Kimberley Suzanne, and their two children, Sophie Elaine and John Charles, of Galveston, Texas.
John also leaves behind numerous nephews and nieces, brothers- and sisters-in-law, cousins, and friends. They are too numerous to list all, but some of his closest were his brothers- and sisters-in-law, David Louis and Ruth Anne Figari, of The Woodlands, Texas; and Charles Albert and Cherri Figari of Houston, Texas. A short list of nieces and nephews include David Anthony and Sandy Figari of Boerne, Texas, and their children, David, Phillip, Macey, and Grant; Shawn Michael and Stephanie Figari of Beaumont, Texas, and their children, Kristen, Shawn, Theresa, and Alexandria; Lisa Ann and Robert “Bobby” Killion of The Woodlands, Texas, and their children Megan, Kristen, Robert, and Savanna; and Tara Elizabeth and Scott Brady of Collierville, Tennessee, and their daughters, Gracey and Addie. Other cousins, nieces, and nephews include Candice Medina of Houston, Texas; her brother, Victor Medina, his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Natalie, of San Diego, California; Betty Michalsky of Galveston, Texas; and his neighbor and aunt, Sabina Junemann, of Galveston, Texas. John had many friends and co-workers over the years, and he had one particular group of retired co-workers that were an important part of his later years – they were known as The Thursday Lunch Bunch, and members included Clare Armstrong, Marilyn Jewel, and Diane and Rip Mceniry. The family would like to extend a warm thank you to the AMED Hospice nurses who cared for John in his last weeks of life, including Paula Johnson, Breanna Robinson, and Imogene Cummines. Their compassion, love, and comfort for John and our family will always be appreciated and never forgotten.
John was the consummate family man and friend. His many nieces and nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law, and numerous friends will all miss his presence deeply. He was not only a great husband, father, uncle, and friend, but he was also one of nature’s biggest supporters. He was an avid outdoorsman, and his life was filled with outdoor activities and pursuits. He was the E.F. Hutton of flounder fishing, crabbing, and duck hunting, and the last decades of his life were dedicated to bird watching and the preservation and care of birds and their local habitats. Whatever pursuit John chose, he became an expert at that interest, and his identification and birding skills were second to none. His fishing and crabbing trips were a source of pilgrimages for many generations of friends and family alike. He shared his love and immense knowledge freely with all who were interested and was everyone’s favorite Uncle Johnny.
John’s family will receive visitors beginning at 2:00pm on Saturday, August 8th, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A service celebrating his life will begin at 3:30pm.
In keeping with his generous spirit, he requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to the Houston Audubon Society, 440 Wilchester Blvd., Houston, TX, 77079. He was a member and perennial volunteer of their Christmas bird count in the greater Galveston area.