Iles Funeral Home - Dunn's Chapel
2121 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 244-2121
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Kathy Richter Szumski

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Kathy Richter Szumski Obituary
Kathy Richter Szumski

Des Moines

Kathryn Ann Richter Szumski, 65, died peacefully Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at Mercy Hospital in the presence of loving family members and friends after a long battle with chronic lung disease and a short acute illness. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at Iles-Dunn's Chapel, where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

Kathy was born March 11, 1949, in Sibley, IA, one of eleven children of Elmer F. and Marian (Klosterman) Richter. She was a graduate of Sheldon High School, attended business school, Mankato (MN) College, and the University of Minnesota. She also was employed at the University. In Des Moines, she was a law firm secretary and a sparkling receptionist in the newsroom of the Des Moines Register. Kathy married Jerry Szumski September 11, 1974, in Des Moines' Beaverdale neighborhood where they lived all their married life. She worked for Des Moines Public Schools as a classroom associate at several sites, including North Alternative High School, Lutheran Hospital and Mercy OPP.

Kathy once was called "the coupon queen" by a supermarket cashier who recognized an eager shopper armed with a box of envelopes full of coupons. Later she became something of an antiques and collectibles "queen," eventually becoming a popular, fun-loving fixture at the Brass Armadillo Antiques Mall and, for a time, the Majestic Lion. She loved, read, and collected books, recently compiling a Kindle library of more than a thousand titles. Her music tastes were eclectic - from old-time country to Motown to the classics - and she loved to dance.

Kathy is survived by her husband Jerry, her sons, Nicholas (Meredith) Szumski of Los Angeles, CA, and Ned Szumski of Iowa City, IA; her step-children, Michael (Mary) Szumski of Montclair, NJ, Sara (Mark) Fiorita of Whitefish Bay, WI, and Mark (Brenda) Szumski of Whitefish Bay, WI; seven grandchildren, Marie, Corey, Joseph, Henry, Jack, Hogan, and Kellen; her mother, Marian Richter of Ruthven, IA; her siblings Steve (Betty) Richter, Mary (Adrian) Heymer, Gregg (Diane) Richter, Paula (Robert) Lawson, Dan (Candy) Richter, David Richter, Tom (Pam) Richter, Rev. Kevin Richter, Richard (Lynette) Richter and Robert (Issis) Richter; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father and an infant brother, Timothy Richter.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Des Moines Public Library. Online condolences will be welcomed at

Published in Des Moines Register from Apr. 17 to Apr. 19, 2014
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