Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We learn of the passing on May 12, 2013 of Gordon Emil Hansen at age 91 in Orem, Utah. Gordon was the loving husband of LeLa Christensen, our cousin through Daisy Kirkham and Louis Christensen, who passed away March 5, 2010. LeLa and Gordon were married in  June of 1946. They are survived by their children Kenneth G and Barbara Hansen, JaNae and Stephen Earl, DeLynn  and Dolly Hansen and Shellee and Dennis Day. Grieving as well are 23 grandchildren and 47  great grandchildren. LeLA and Gordon rest at the Orem City Cemetery.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kirkhams Touch the World

We learn of the loss of Elizabeth Kirkham Ryser in Salt Lake City. I have taken this account from the Deseret News obituary

She is the daughter of Ebenezer John Kirkham and Mary Ethel Wright Kirkham. She married James J. Ryser Jr. on September 4, 1947 in the Salt Lake Temple. They had almost 65 years together. She is survived by her four children, Randall James Ryser (Kathryn), Robyn Ryser Nicholas (Peter), David Kirkham Ryser (Antoinette), Rebecca Ryser Jolley (Kevin), and 16 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and her sister, Marie Thompson (Robert). She was preceded in death by her siblings, Homer Kirkham (Millie) and Barbara Jolley (Arben). 
Elizabeth was a remarkable wife, mother, grandma, counselor and educator who valued service and lifelong learning. After attending BYU for one year beginning at age 16, she attended the University of Utah. She worked as a social worker for the Red Cross duringWorld War II. She subsequently attended graduate school at Tulane University where she met her husband Jim. Elizabeth completed her Masters in Social Work degree at the University of Utah. She worked at Relief Society Social Services, Primary Children's Hospital, Utah Family Court, and was a marriage and family therapist in private practice for 15 years. She served as President of the Utah Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Two of our number have received assignments from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as Mission Presidents. Dale B Kirkham and his wife Jill Hoggan Kirkham will begin serving the Cancun Mexico Mission in July.

Roger L Kirkham and his wife Judy Ann Gowans will also leave in July for the Liberia Monrovia Mission.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Susan McKeen Nye reports the passing after an injury of  Margaret McKeen Newmaker on October 25 2012 in Savannah Georgia. Born in 1939 at Bridgeton New Jersey she married Richard John Newmaker and was mother of six, with seven grandchildren. Margaret was a granddaughter to Esther Ruth Kirkham Smellie, she a daughter of James Kirkham and Emma Wootton. We extend our sympathy to her immediate family and siblings even as we know the Kirkham family feels her loss, too.

Forgive my lapse in the earlier post re: George Kirkham Family org which IS on, it is my typing that claimed it was not. I have corrected the post to reflect that it is NOW on facebook.

Friday, October 26, 2012


We learn today of the passing of Thad Gudmundsen Kirkham, son of James Arno and Sylvia (Gene) Kirkham and a grandson of James Mercer Kirkham. He has been a resident in the St George, Utah area for several years after a career in Southern California. Survivors include his wife Arlene and eight children. I was able to visit Thad and Arlene recently with my father, his brother, and their younger brother Kreg.

Recently, Aunt Oleve Kirkham, widow of E Kay Kirkham on whose book the Kirkham reunion was based in 2009 celebrated her 99th birthday.

Rich Kirkham of Pocatello has informed me that the George Kirkham Family organization is now on Face Book.

All these things have common ground beneath them: that we are a living family, not a chapter in history. We recognize those passages universal, celebrate ordinances of faith and life, mourn and celebrate, reach out and lift up each other daily.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

We lose one from among us

I have learned of the passing of Miriam Lenore McKeen Fa'atuai on the 2d of July 2012. Susan Nye passed this sad news on about her sister in a short note. Miriam was born Preston Idaho in 1936 and had lived in northern Utah for some time. I believe Miriam- Lee- is survived by one son and several siblings and nephews/nieces. I am not certain where her death occurred. I know that we hold her family near to us as they grieve.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Next Generations

This photo of James Arno Kirkham, his sons Thad at the back and Kreg with his wife Gene Gudmundsen Kirkham is on the day of the larger gathering at JMK's home; because my dad, Jim is not in the picture I believe it is during the WWII period, when my father was in the Army. There was a year prior to his service that he worked on a ranch in southern Utah, as well.

James Arno- I understand he was mostly referred to as Arno, though my grandmother always called him Kirk- was sales rep for the Utah Farmer Magazine. He loved to sing and was associated with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as a singer as well as in their business department. After my grandparents retired to California he attended classes at a nearby college where he studied music, choral and sang in the school's choir. It was in Huntington Beach, California they were living when they passed away, JAK in 1975 and Gene in 1976. They are buried in the Lehi City Cemetery.

Their family, three sons were Jim with wife Joan Backman and seven children; Thad with wife Arlene Peterson and eight children and Kreg with wife Carolyn Thomsen and five children.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Recording A Family Story

A recent opening of boxes- as some of you have done- revealed pictures such as this. This is James Mercer Kirkham's, and his wife Kate Woodhouse' family on the porch of their home in Salt Lake City. I believe my grandfather James Arno Kirkham must be the photographer.  I want to say it is fall, but it may be spring as well. James Mercer is holding a toddler at the back of the group while Kate is partially obscured left of him. In the same box were individual family photographs- including one of JAK's from this gathering, which I will use  as I introduce the articles I have proposed.

My family moved a lot as I grew up and we did not have many of the archival type of photographs. For this reason pictures might not be included frequently.  We did have an annual Christmas picture made. A document in itself for family history: who, where, when etc. I will use them as appropriate (I hope).