Katherine Mae “Kate” Klinkefus, 22, of Iowa City, passed away Dec. 3, 2019.
Kate was born Oct. 31, 1997, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to her parents, Jon and Karen Klinkefus. Our pumpkin girl loved sharing a Halloween birthday with her Aunt Janet. Kate was our first child and the first grandchild on both sides of our family, so we often told her she was the one that made us a family.
As a little girl, she loved being the center of attention, putting on little shows with her younger sister and partner in crime, Jill. As a kid and as an adult, Kate had a silly sense of humor and always tried to make other people laugh and worked to put others at ease. She really wanted to get to know people on a deeper level, was a great listener and a trusted friend.
She went to school at Bowman Woods Elementary, Oak Ridge Middle School and graduated from Linn-Mar High School in 2016. Kate was an excellent student and loved to learn. Through the years, she played the oboe, sang in middle school show choir, played soccer and ran cross country and track.
After high school, Kate attended Kirkwood Community College and was transferring to the University of Iowa to pursue her dream of becoming a microbiologist.
Kate loved science and nature and was never afraid to get her hands dirty. She was something of an animal whisperer, finding and picking up snakes as a kid, bringing home tadpoles to watch them grow into frogs. She had a deep and abiding love for all animals. She loved our family cat, Sky, and her own cat, Jade, who she had taught to come when she whistled. Kate had recently added a small bearded dragon lizard, Rosemary, to her pet family.
She loved to be outside, to hike through the woods, and not just following the path but going off the trail to find new adventures.
During her short life, she squeezed in as much fun and adventure as she could. Traveling the country with our family. Visiting Astrid, her foreign exchange student friend, in Spain. Meeting Rihanna backstage after a concert with her friend Jenna.
Kate treasured the beautiful things in life. She liked to draw and paint, to take photos of nature and to write poetry. She pointed out the beauty that surrounds us every day and always saw the best in others.
Kate is survived by her parents, her beloved sister, Jill, of Iowa City, her grandparents, Orlin and Sally Klinkefus of Marshalltown; and Fred Brattmiller, of Emmetsburg; aunts, uncles and cousins: Beth and Tom Costello of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and their children, Joey and Annie; Ronald Brattmiller of Forest City; Janet and Darwin Wackerbarth of Spirit Lake; and Sharon and John Chism of Huxley, and their children, Jim and Jack; and so many friends and members of our extended family.
She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Alice Mae Brattmiller.
A visitation will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 8300 C Ave., Marion, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, from 5 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the church at 1:30 p.m. Please enter through the southeast doors. A private burial or scattering of Kate’s ashes will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, honor Kate’s memory with a donation to an animal charity of your choice, like the Cedar Valley Humane Society.
Kate will now be our Christmas angel. Remember her with a smile, thinking of the joy and beauty she brought to this world.
Time is not measured by the years that you live,
But by the deed that you do, and the joy that you give,
And each day as it comes, brings a chance to each one,
To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone,
That would brighten the life or lighten the load,
Of some weary traveler lost on life’s road.
So what does it matter how long we may live,
If as long as we live, we unselfishly give.
-- Helen Steiner Rice