Charlene Kirkwood, age 85, of O’Fallon, Mo., and formerly of Knoxville, passed away Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at the Progress West Hospital of O’Fallon, Mo.
Charlene was born at home on the family farm in rural Avery, Iowa, on March 20, 1928, the daughter of James Carl and Beulah Edna (Mohler) Johnston. Charlene was raised around the Albia area. She attended church and school in Albia and was a graduate of the Albia High School, class of 1944.
On March 25, 1949, Charlene and Clyde D. Kirkwood were united in marriage. They shared 53 years of marriage together and were blessed with two children: James “J.C.” and Rochelle. Clyde died on April 1, 2002.
Charlene was active all her life with work, clubs, volunteer organizations, and special hobbies. She worked for four years with the Veterans Administration in Knoxville as a secretary before going to the Knoxville School District, where she worked for 30 years in the business office and as the school board secretary.
Charlene enjoyed volunteering her time and skills. She volunteered time in the First United Methodist Church Office, of which she was a member, she helped in the Almost Free Shop, for 18 years she was a head counselor with the Methodist Youth Fellowship, she was a member and past president of the United Methodist Women, and she was a volunteer with the Knoxville Area Hospital Gift Shop.
Charlene was also a member of many organizations; the Retired School Employees, Red Hatters, Beta Sigma Phi since 1961, Naomi’s Circle, Chancel Choir for 50 years, Bell Choir for six years, and a past member of the Iowa Lakes Association Coast Guard.
Charlene’s special enjoyments were spending time with her family, her children’s friends, and some very special close friends. She also enjoyed reading, music, drum corps, gardening, boating, and the outdoors.
Charlene is survived by her children, James “J.C.” and Chris Kirkwood of St. Peters, Mo., and Rochelle Andre of Cool Valley, Mo., her sister-in-law, Frances Kirkwood of Knoxville, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Beulah Johnston, husband, Clyde Kirkwood, son-in-law, Neil Andre, one brother, Robert Johnston, and one sister, Alice Jane Linville.
A celebration of life service was held Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the First United Methodist Church, with Pastor Brent Hanna officiating. Burial followed services at Graceland Cemetery of Knoxville.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established to the Society for the Blind, First United Methodist Church, or the donor’s choice. Condolences may be sent to www.winfieldfh.com. The Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville is assisting Charlene’s family with services.