CAPTAIN ALFRED KIRCHHOFF Captain Alfred Kirchhoff, Ret. Merchant Marines, 96, of Rainbow Lakes Estates, Florida, passed away on April 29, 2008 at his residence under the care of his family and Hospice of Marion County. He was born on March 7, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York to Theodore and Theresa Kirchhoff. At the age of 3 he went to Germany with his parents and was raised there until the age of 14. He started his training on the "Peking", a German Training/Trader ship which is at the Seaport Museum in New York City. After 3 years it was possible for him to get off in New York City and stay. Joined the US Merchant Marines , sailing on tankers for the National Bulk Carriers. Working his way up to the top rank, he became a captain at the age of 29. He then worked for one of the world's largest deep sea salvage and rescue company's, Merrit, Chapman and Scott, Covering the entire North Atlantic to the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico. Captain Alfred Kirchhoff had over 487 documented rescues to his credit. He was a member of the Rainbow Lakes Travel Club and for the last 8 years played Santa Claus at the Rainbow Lakes Santa House. He is preceded in death in February 2000 by his first wife of 69 years, Carol Kirchhoff and his brother Theodore Kirchhoff. He is survived by his second wife Patricia Gerling Kirchhoff, 3 sons, George Kirchhoff (Kim) of Ripton, Vermont, Robert Kirchhoff of Lincoln, Vermont and Howard Francis of Rainbow Lakes Estates, Florida, his daughter Mary Carrico (Larry) of Londonderry, Ohio, 4 grandchildren, A.J. Wayne Kirchhoff (Nellie), Brett Kirchhoff, Jim Wills (Nicole) and Kathleen Alderman (Steve), 6 great grandchildren, Nora, Alexandria, Chloe, Ashley, Lacie and George and a special friend John Matthews from Rainbow Lakes Estates, Florida. The family requests memorial contributions in lieu of flowers to Hospice of Marion County, 9505 SW 110th St., Ocala, Florida, 34481. Private cremation arrangements are under the direction of Strickland Funeral Home, Crystal River.
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Published in the TC Palm on May 3, 2008