Ella G. Kirschbaum, 87, a resident of Falls Church since 1953 who was active in senior citizens groups and other organizations, died of respiratory failure Tuesday at the Carriage Hill nursing home in Arlington.

Mrs. Kirschbaum was born on a farm near Colesburg, Iowa. After earning a degree in music at Leander Clark College in Toledo, Iowa, she returned to Colesburg, where she taught music in local schools.

In 1910, she married Earl Bush. He died in the influenza epidemic in 1918. In 1920, she married Matthew L. Kirschbaum, who ran a general store in Colesburg.

In 1933, the Kirschbaums moved to Wyoming to try their hand at homesteading.In 1944 Mrs. Kirschbaum, who continued teaching music in Wyoming, became postmistress of Pavillion, Wyo., a post she held for several years.

Mrs. Kirschbaum had been active in Democratic politics in Wyoming and served on the Democratic State Committee from 1933 to 1953.

After moving to Falls Church, she continued to give private piano lessons. She also was active in local Democratic Party affairs and was a member of the Falls Church Garden Club and the auxiliaries of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She was active in senior citizens groups of the parishes of Saint James and Saint Agnes churches.

Her husband died in 1970.

Survivors include two sons, Lester E. Bush Sr. of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Eugene L. Kirschbaum of Alexandria, a daughter, Mrs. Russell Holland of Annandale; six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.