Kathy King was born Kathryn Lu Moore on Jan. 26, 1941, in Jefferson to Howard and Inez (Hasty) Moore. She was the eldest of three children, all daughters. The family farmed near Scranton where Kathy attended country school. In 1949, the family moved to Greenbrier township, then to the Bagley farm in 1953. Growing up as farm kids, Kathy and her sisters did more farm work than cooking, and Kathy was particularly adept at driving the tractor. She graduated from Bagley High School in 1959 as valedictorian. She attended Iowa Methodist School of Nursing, graduating in 1962. She was employed in the Surgery department at Iowa Methodist Hospital following graduation.
Kathy met Jim King in 1961, when he and his family moved to Bagley to serve as the United Methodist pastor at her family’s church. After Jim was widowed and an appropriate amount of time had elapsed, Jim obtained Kathy’s address from her unsuspecting mother, and Jim took Kathy on dates when he visited Des Moines. They married on Nov. 3, 1963, but only after she was able to convince her family of the wisdom of marrying a widower with four young children.
In 1969, Shari was born, and Dorie, Deb, Rocky and Karen were (mostly!) glad to have a new baby sister to complete the family.
Kathy and the kids accompanied Jim wherever he was appointed, making a home and life-long friends everywhere they lived. Besides Bagley, the King family also lived in Fremont, Corning, Ottumwa, Atlantic, Des Moines and Nevada. Kathy and Jim both retired in 1998, Kathy from a 36-year nursing career, most often as a surgical nurse. They moved to the family farm near Bagley where they lived until 2007 when they moved to Jefferson.
Kathy enjoyed all sports, whether it was playing golf herself, following their kids’ and grandkids’ activities, or ushering for Iowa State football. Her nursing background was advantageous not just for her formal jobs, but for church camps, blood donation events, and once for a congregant’s emergency during one of Jim’s sermons. Kathy was active in her P.E.O. chapter and served as a volunteer and board member for Jefferson’s Congregate Meals program. Kathy and Jim spent 11 winters working with a volunteer group providing labor for United Methodist organizations across the USA. NOMADS (Nomads on a Mission Acting in Divine Service) projects included new construction, remodeling, and repairs for churches, homes, camps, and colleges.
More than anything, Kathy loved her family. She loved chatting with her mom and sisters – and good luck to anyone who tried to get a word in! She was a wonderful mom, then grandmother and great-grandmother. As her own mother said: “The greatest gift a mother can give her children is to raise them such that others can love them too.” In this endeavor, Kathy succeeded with highest marks.
Kathy is survived by her 5 children: Dorie Womacks of Montrose, CO; Deb Roberts (Jeff) of Corning; Rocky (Tania) of League City, TX; Karen Marsh (Rob) of Clarinda; and Shari King (Jim Reidy) of Marshalltown; her 2 sisters: Mary (Gene) Clement of Crosslake, MN, and Carol (Rich) Deardorff of Cairo, NE; 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and grandson Sean Ervin.
Memorial contributions may be made to Global Ministries/United Methodist Committee of Relief (UMCOR), PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; Jefferson Congregate Meals, 401 W Greenewood Rd, Jefferson, IA 50129.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 24 at Bagley United Methodist Church in Bagley followed by luncheon at Yale Community Building in Yale. Visitation will be from 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23 at Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home in Jefferson.