Legislators remember former administrator

Karena Wells

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate lost one of its own this week. Former Senate administrator Ron Kirchoff died around 11 p.m. April 27 from a virus in his blood.

For 34 years he was director of printing and mailing, the Senate’s first administrator and acting director of Senate Research, a post he held until retiring in May 2003.

“He was good at getting all of us out of jams – political and otherwise,” said Senate Pro Tem Leader Peter Kinder (R-Cape Giradeau).

Kirchoff was still around even after he retired.

“Last week during the filibuster, he was sitting at home listening to it on the Internet,” Kinder said.

“We should all be really thankful Ron didn’t write a book,” said Sen. Harold Caskey (R-Butler). “He knew so much, it could really be a tell all. I know I’m thankful he didn’t write a book.”

Sen. James Mathewson (D-Sedalia) had tears in his eyes when he spoke about Kirchoff.

“I was at the hospital with him last night,” Mathewson said.

“He was probably my best friend. If you knew him you knew he was a tall man. He stood tall among people hear at the Senate.”

Kirchoff left behind a wife, Betty (Big Noise), two daughters, Rhonda Meyer and Paula Wolken, and four grandchildren.

A motion was made by Caskey to rename the back gallery of the Senate after Kirchoff.

“I believe it would be a great tribute to Ron to name the place where he spent much time in conference with the senators after him,” Caskey said.

“There are a lot of times we go back there to blow off steam and it would be most appropriate to rename it the Ron Kirchoff gallery.”

Kinder supported Caskey’s motion and the Senate President Joe Maxwell asked for a moment of silence in Kirchoff’s honor.