Martha Ann (Baugher) Kirchner

March 8, 1931 ~ September 2, 2021 (age 90)


Martha Ann Baugher Kirchner, 90, of Keokuk, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, September 2, 2021, at River Hills Village in Keokuk. 

Born March 8, 1931, in Beverly, Ill., Martha was the daughter of Albert and Mabel Ann Hibbard Baugher. In 1949 she graduated from Keokuk High School, where she was Pep Squad Major, and on July 15, 1951, she was united in marriage to A. Leroy Kirchner at Trinity United Methodist Church in Keokuk. He preceded her in death on December 8, 2001.  

Martha – or Martha Ann as Leroy often called her – approached life with infectious energy and enthusiasm, whether she was attending a game, concert or show, tackling paperwork, cleaning house, preparing communion, playing cards, planning a party or organizing a camping trip.

She was employed as a secretary for the Keokuk Community School District for 24 years, the Clerk of District Court for 12 years and St. Vincent Catholic School for three years, bringing warmth and efficiency to every office. A devoted and active member of Keokuk’s Trinity United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women, Martha chaired many rummage sales and funeral luncheons and other events. She was a member of the P.E.O. Chapter U, and a longtime Meals on Wheels volunteer.

Martha and Leroy were loyal fans of the Keokuk Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes. They made many trips to baseball games at Busch Stadium, and attended football games at most of the Big Ten stadiums, as well as several bowl games, including the Rose Bowl. Throughout her life Martha was a regular presence at Chiefs games, whatever the sport. She was the consummate cheerleader, rooting for friends and family on and off the field.

For many years Martha wintered in Florida, where she enjoyed walking the beach, attending spring training games and shopping at consignment stores. Upbeat and progressive, she maintained an active and healthy lifestyle, participating in aquacise classes at the YMCA and taking brisk walks every day until shortly after her 90th birthday. Always ready to lend a hand, an ear or a shoulder, she never lost her sense of humor and her boisterous laugh.

She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Nancy Baugher, of Keokuk; and nieces and nephews: Ron Staggs, Cincinnati, Ohio; Debbie Baugher Smith, Macomb, Ill.; Randy and Betty Baugher, River Falls, Wis.; Philip Wittekiend, Missoula, Mont.; Terry and Shirley Wittekiend, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Phyllis Lovell James, Palestine, Texas; John and Christine Sherrill Shields, Keokuk; Rick and Leeanne Sherrill Humiston, Keokuk; Steve and Cynthia Baugher Wine, Miami Lakes, Fla.; Cassie Baugher, Sacramento, Calif.; Lisa Baugher, Lebanon, Mo.; and Rob and Ellen Baugher Day, Bartlett, Ill.; as well as 24 great-nephews and great-nieces, and 19 great-great-nephews and great-great-nieces, and a wealth of friends. 

Martha was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leroy; her brother Chester Baugher; four sisters: Genevieve Staggs Neff, Carrie Wittekiend, Velma Lovell and Marjorie Sherrill, and their spouses; as well as three nephews: Dan Staggs, Robert Sherrill and Matthew Baugher. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date, with burial at Keokuk National Cemetery. Martha chose to donate her body to the University of Iowa College of Medicine for scientific study, a final testament to her generous spirit and concern for others. 

Memorial gifts may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church.

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