Ellen Kirven

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Ellen Kirven

Mass of Christian Burial for Ellen Kirven, 91 year old long time Buffalo resident who passed away suddenly Monday afternoon at the Johnson County Health Care Center, will be celebrated Saturday, April 12th at 10:00 a.m. from the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Buffalo with Father Pete Johnson as celebrant. A Vigil service and time of sharing will be held on Friday at 7:00 p.m. from the Catholic Church. Visitation will be held on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Harness Funeral Home Chapel in Buffalo. Interment will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with graveside services to follow the Mass. Donations in Mrs. Kirven’s memory may be made to the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Foundation in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo.
Ellen Katherine Farrell was born on August 13th, 1922 in East Rutherford, New Jersey to Edward and Charlotte Farrell, the eldest of four children. Her father died suddenly when Ellen was only four years old, so her mother Charlotte moved the family to Chicago, Illinois to be close to her parents. Growing up in Chicago Ellen met William J. Kirven and they were married on May 14th, 1943. In 1948 after Bill completed law school, Bill and Ellen with two young boys in tow made the move to Buffalo, Wyoming based mostly on faith and hard work that they could start a great life together. At first when Ellen saw the dusty plains of Eastern Wyoming she began to feel overwhelmed by such a dramatic move, but as the snow capped Big Horn Mountains appeared on the horizon, she knew everything would work out. She always said that one of the best decisions she and Bill ever made was moving to Wyoming.
Bill and Ellen settled into life in Buffalo, raising a family of nine children. Ellen still found the time to be actively involved in the community. Ellen never feared to express her viewpoint and then express it again. She was a Girl Scout leader, taught religious education, and was involved in many other community affairs.
As her children grew up Ellen began to actively pursue her passion for art and joined with other artists in Buffalo in creating a local art guild. She continued to paint until her death and every family member will treasure the hand painted birthday cards they received from her, faithfully done for every birthday. She and Bill became avid golfers a hobby they enjoyed with many of their friends in Buffalo, and Ellen continued to play well into her eighties.
After getting their nine children established in the world Ellen and Bill began to enjoy retirement and spend time traveling. Bill developed Alzheimer’s disease in the early 90’s and Ellen faithfully cared for him under very difficult circumstances. She made sure she spent part of every day that she could with Bill until his death on January 3, 2005.
Although her life would not be the same without Bill, Ellen continued with her zest for life. She traveled extensively visiting China, Nepal, and Turkey among other trips. She continued to make new friends and stayed actively involved in community affairs. Spending time with her grandchildren became one of her favorite times, and all of her grandchildren will have fond memories of the time they spent with “Grammy”.
Ellen will be remembered for her love of family, kindness, compassion and her genuine interest in the welfare of others. She was a devout Catholic and her faith gave her great strength on her journey through life.
She is survived by her children; William and his wife Rosemarie of Denver, Colorado, Dennis Kirven and his wife Colleen, Timothy Kirven and his wife Betsy, and Larry Kirven and his wife Tina all of Buffalo, Thomas Kirven and his wife Felicia of Sheridan, Mary Beth Kirven of Denver, Brian Kirven and his wife Ada of Banner, Lisa Lynch and her husband John of Portland, Oregon and David Kirven and his wife Theresa of Carlsbad, California; one sister sister Mary Ellen Geiger of Toledo, Ohio; 18 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, who were her constant delight. Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill, and brothers James and Joseph Farrell.