Ann Louise Kirkham walked into the arms of Jesus, Thursday, May 18, surrounded by her family and friends after a long battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Memorial service: A Celebration of her life will be held Thursday, May 25 from 4 to 5 pm at Lighthouse Fellowship, 7200 Robertson Road, Fort Worth, TX.
Ann was born June 16, 1936 in Rapid City, South Dakota to Clem and Ruth (Slocomb) Knecht.
From the age of four, Ann knew she wanted to be a nurse. Ann’s innate care for people in need, combined with her family taught work ethic, were foundations of her life’s work. Ann earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Wyoming in 1958, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. Her early professional career was spent in surgical, obstetric and public health nursing. She went on to earn her Masters of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University in 1971. She was a professor of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University and Texas Christian University.
While at TCU, Ann helped write several nursing text books, pushed for more real-life clinical experiences for her students and was part of an amazing group of women that pioneered rape victim rights in Fort Worth in the late 70’s. In 1983, she was inducted into the International Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau.
After many years of pursuing post graduate work at University of Texas, Ann opened a private counseling practice with Susan Weeks and Jim Roaten in Fort Worth. It was an honor and privilege for her to share in the pain, healing and growth experienced by her many clients. In her retirement years, Ann was very active in her PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Chapter, helping out at the Azle animal shelter and enjoying her Good-Bad Girls Bible Study at Lighthouse Fellowship.
Ann was a “joy” to her friends and family as she kept it funny and kept it real.
She was the best wife, mom and grandma in the world.
Special thanks to the caregivers at The Vantage Assisted Living and Grace Hospice
Survivors: Ann is survived by her husband of 61 years, Dan Kirkham of Fort Worth; son, Matt Kirkham and wife, Kari of Fort Worth; daughter, Kathy Rector and husband, Andy of Azle; grandsons, Brett Rector and wife, Ashley of Dallas, Jake Rector of Austin, and Joe Kirkham of Fort Worth; great- grandson, James (Jack) Andrew Rector; nieces and nephews; and steadfast nursing friend, Ann Lind of Irving.