Kirch was elected to several honor societies, including Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Pi Mu Epsilon. In 1954 he received the Eta Kappa Nu Recognition for Outstanding Young Engineer Award. In 1966 he received the Engineer of the Year Award presented by the Schenectady Professional Engineering Society. Most important, he was elected to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in 1979.
Throughout his outstanding career, Kirch was actively involved in the work of many committees in various technical societies, including Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Society of Professional Engineers, Operations Research Society of America, and International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE). He was also active in the formation of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. His many contributions to these organizations were recognized by his election to the grade of fellow of both IEEE and ASME, the IEEE and ASME Centennial Awards in 1984, and the prestigious IEEE Lamme Medal in 1988. The IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Award was established in 1997 in recognition of his many accomplishments. In 2003 it was replaced by the IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award.
Kirch’s work was also recognized internationally. He received the Bernard Price Memorial Award from the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, was a guest speaker at the India Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1979, and was a member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society delegation to China in 1978.
Dr. Kirchmayer is survived by his wife, Olga Temoshok Kirchmayer, whom he married on December 2, 1950; a son, Kenneth L. Kirchmayer of Cincinnati, Ohio; a daughter, Karen C. Demuth of Dayton, Ohio; a sister, Carol Kirchmayer Destland of West Bend, Wisconsin; and five grandchildren.