Kathy Semke, 1952 – 2020

Mary Margaret Kathelene Semke, 67, of Jefferson, passed away on February 9, 2020, after a brave battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Kathy was born December 23, 1952, to Ward Duffy and Katherine Jobush in Jefferson. After graduating from Jefferson High School in 1971, she went on to study at the University of Iowa.

She began her first medical career job as a nurse aide at the age of 14. In 1983 she became a certified respiratory technician. After additional education, in 1993, she became a registered respiratory therapist. Kathy went back to school and earned her bachelor of science degree in 1996. She worked for many years as a respiratory therapist at Greene County Medical Center and Guthrie County Hospital. Always learning, Kathy went to Des Moines University and earned her physician assistant certification in 2003.
In 1972, she met Terry Semke, and they wed on Aug. 10, 1973, going on to have two children, Ted Semke and Tom Semke.

When Kathy had Ted and Tom, she decided to dedicate her life to being a fantastic and wonderful mother. Kathy excelled at propping up her boys and their families and supporting them through the many passions and difficulties of their lives. She made it her mission to improve the lives of her family.

Kathy was a passionate gardener and when she wasn’t filling her home with warmth and kindness, she could be found in her yard making it beautiful. She loved to travel and be outdoors. Kathy loved and cared for many animals throughout her life. She spent so much time with her grandchildren and enriched their lives more than words can express. She was known as “Jena” to them. We will miss her greatly.

Kathy was predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her husband Terry Semke; her brothers Jim Duffy and Matt Duffy; her sons Ted Semke and Tom (Makala) Semke; grandchildren Spencer Semke, Carter Semke, Haley Semke, Gretta Semke, Nicole Semke, Lindsey Semke, and Trevon Semke; and many family and friends.

There was  a celebration of life at Feb. 14 at Central Christian Church in Jefferson.

The family was assisted by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home, Jefferson.

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