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Francis N. Kirchhof ’47

Published in June 7, 2006, issue

Many of us remember Fran for his buoyant humor and enjoyable antics as a fellow V-12er in the summer of '43.

After three happily remembered years of Navy service, Fran returned to Princeton, graduated in 1949, and began a promising career in the construction business. In 1952 he married Sheila Fitzpatrick; they had six children but were divorced in the late 1970s. In 1979, Fran married the ever-loyal, loving Ann Matthews, who wants Fran's history to be told, here, with candor and sympathy.

In our 25th yearbook Fran bluntly told us how his promising business career had deteriorated into a struggle with alcohol. At that reunion, after excessive drinking, he sought the help of our admired classmate-in-recovery, Ace Bushnell, and received it for many years. There were substantial periods of AA sober living but, alas, relapses that often ended in tragic experiences. Throughout many difficult years, Ann stood by Fran with love and loyalty.

Fran died in peace Oct. 29, 2005. At his memorial service his longtime friend and priest delivered a memorable affectionate tribute, which was followed by a moving playing of Fran's beloved Navy hymn.

To Ann and the children, we send this tribute to our fondly remembered friend, coupled with our heartfelt sympathy.

The Class of 1947

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