Cover photo for Esther Yvonne Keir Kuhn's Obituary
Esther Yvonne Keir Kuhn Profile Photo
1927 Esther 2019

Esther Yvonne Keir Kuhn

December 11, 1927 — October 2, 2019

Esther Yvonne (Keir) Kuhn, 91, Statesville NC, formerly of Sharon Center, Pa., died at Catawba Valley Hospice House (Carolina Caring) on October 2, 2019.  Born in Angelica, New York on December 11, 1927, much of her life was spent in Potter County, Pennsylvania.  North Carolina was her home for the last 23 years.   She was the daughter of the late Chester (Armstrong) Holcomb and Mary Gladys (Roberts) Holcomb.

A graduate of Otto Township High School in Eldred, PA and Olean Business Institute, she married her war hero, Earl Keir.  The couple had their first child, Gail Patricia (Gary) Kailbourne in 1947.  Two sons were to follow, Terry Earl Keir (1949) and Alan (Wayne) Keir (1952) 

She spent the next 35 years “employed” on Earl’s 400-acre farm. A rainy day could find her chasing cows who had escaped the fence or bottle feeding an orphan calf.  She raised a bountiful garden canning and freezing food for later use.  She delighted in her eight grandchildren, always having time to read books, play a game or listen to a private “concert” of the current musical instrument being learned.  

Having a personal relationship with Christ, Esther was very active in her church at Millport PA teaching Sunday School, VBS, Women’s Bible Studies, and serving on a host of committees.  She transported children of the church to and from summer camps.  She answered the call to help out when she learned of a need.  She was kind and gentle to everyone she met. 

Earl contracted pancreatic cancer and died in 1992.  In 1994 she married Raymond Kuhn and the couple moved to North Carolina where they enjoyed the coast at Oak Island before relocating to Statesville, NC to be close to her daughter.   

She was predeceased in death by her son, Terry Earl Keir, parents, Chester and Gladys Holcomb, sister, Grace (Ralph) Bradbury, and brothers Boyd (Dolores) and Bruce Holcomb.  She is survived by her daughter Gail (Gary) Kailbourne of Statesville NC and son, Alan Keir of Monessen, PA.  The delight of her life were her grandchildren Stephen Canfield of Cookeville TN, Jennifer (Piseth) Canfield Kry of Jacksonville FL, Kimberly (Philip) Kailbourne Kopsaftis of Sparta TN, Ryan (Jennifer) Kailbourne of Charlotte NC, Christopher (Annie) Keir of Belmont, NY, Carol (Jared) Empson of Coudersport, PA, Angela (Tim) Bickle of Bixby, OK and Erin Keir of Emporium PA.  Esther was also blessed to have fifteen nieces and nephews. Also surviving is a daughter-in-law, Diane Keir Lytle of Coudersport.

There will be no public visitation.  A celebration of Esther’s life will be held at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, on a date and time to be announced.

Esther’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, Pa.

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