Kathryn Jo Pierce Steffen was born April 2, 1928, in Minneapolis, MN, the only child of Esther and George Pierce. She joined her husband, Norm, in heaven on February 15, 2011. Kay passed peacefully, surrounded by family, in a residential memory care home in Leawood, KS. A visitation will be held Saturday, February 19, at 2:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lawrence, KS, with a memorial service at 3:00. Burial will follow at Stoney Point Cemetery, south of Lawrence.
Kay spent most of her early years in Minneapolis, MN, where she graduated from West High School. She and her parents also lived in Brazil and the Washington, D.C. area due to her father’s work as a civil engineer with the U.S. Public Health Department. Kay was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma at DePauw University, where she graduated cum laude in 1950 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Child Psychology and Welfare.
In 1951 she married Norm, the love of her life. They were practically inseparable for the next 58 years. They shared a love of music and enjoyed dancing together at every opportunity. Kay was partner and help mate to Norman as he pursued his ministry. Together they served congregations in Bismarck, ND, Davis, CA, Lawrence, KS, and DeKalb, IL. She most cherished her role as wife and mother of five children, but also enjoyed part-time secretarial work at University Lutheran, KU, and Northern Illinois University. In 1982 she received her M.S. in Human & Family Resources from NIU and worked at the Family Service Agency in DeKalb.
Kay was preceded in death by her parents, a granddaughter Leilah Steffen, and most recently last September by her beloved husband. She is survived by five children: Nancy and Fred Anderson of Las Cruces, NM; David Steffen and Jill Kerr of Carrboro, NC; Carolyn Steffen and Julie Burik of Shawnee, KS; Suzanne Steffen and Bob Hyland of Kansas City, MO; Janice Steffen and Jan Madlock of Bonner Springs, KS; three sister-in-laws; thirteen grandchildren (Avery and Stephanie Demby; Jaimee and Earnest Harris; Ivy and Max Erude; Emerald Anderson; Jessie, Georgia, Zoemma and Louisa Steffen; Natalie and Liam Hyland; Mercedes, Hailie and Keani Steffen Madlock) and seven great-grandchildren (Kez, Kye, Dru, Cre, Ava, Isaiah, and Calvin).
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials in her name to the Immanuel Lutheran Church or to Odyssey Hospice and may be sent in care of the mortuary.