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Kathleen Gruening


1958 - 2019
Kathleen Gruening Obituary
Kathleen Gruening

Windsor Heights - Kathleen Mary Gruening, 60, passed away peacefully on July 6, 2019 at her home in Des Moines, Iowa. A visitation will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on July 11th at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home in Urbandale.

Kathy was born November 30th, 1958 in Des Moines to James and LuAnn Sullivan. The third of nine children, Kathy enjoyed a busy childhood in Keokuk, Iowa before attending high school at Des Moines Roosevelt where she met her love, Mike. Professionally, Kathy followed a desire to help others into a decade-long career as a substance abuse counselor. However, she found new comfort and purpose with the birth of her first grandchild in 1996. From then on, Kathy was the consummate grandmother. Eventually, all nine of her grandchildren experienced her endless affection and adoration. Their home in Windsor Heights is an art gallery specializing in early childhood watercolors, pottery and poems. Her family came first and they enjoyed the comfort of knowing that, no matter the time or circumstance, grandma Kathy was always ready with an ear to bend and plenty of cuddles.

Kathy also developed quite an interest in politics, spurred on by the nomination of a certain republican candidate. A devoted democrat, Kathy was always willing to share her convictions. Donald Trump and the Minnesota Vikings, served as kindling in her world.

Kathy lived with a passion in what she held dear and her family and friends are better for it. For all the names we called her; Kathy, mom, grandma or Sparky, we're all fortunate to have called her ours.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Mike; children: Beth (Peder) Storandt; Kate (Peter) Caldbeck; Tom (Trisha) Gruening; mother, LuAnn Sullivan; siblings: Jim (Nancy) Sullivan; Peggy (Mike) Bucher; Patty (Dave) Combs; Pat (Joyce) Sullivan; Tim (Angie) Sullivan; Mary Beth (Shannon) Arthur; grandchildren: Ray, Halee, Cameron, Payton, Colton, Sophia, Carter, Brayden and Will.

She was preceded in death by her father, James; brother, Mike; and sister, Tammy.

In lieu of flowers, Kathy would love donations to the Iowa Chapter.
Published in Des Moines Register on July 9, 2019
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