Kathleen Mertes
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Kathleen Mertes

Des Moines -

Kathleen (Kathy) Mertes, 69, passed away from cancer on March 31, 2021 at home in Des Moines, IA. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Kathy was born on July 27, 1951 to Edward and Pauline (Wachter) Mertes. She grew up on a farm north of Adair, IA. She graduated as valedictorian of Adair Casey High School class in 1969. She attended college at UNI, DMACC, and U of I where she earned her LPN and RN degrees and worked as a mental health nurse most of her nursing career. She later attended UNI after her daughter, Sarah, was born and graduated with a degree in computer science. She most recently lived in downtown Des Moines and retired from EMC Insurance as a computer programmer.

She enjoyed reading and puns and was a master of crosswords. She had a great sense of humor and always looked forward to the Iowa State Fair and the 80-35 music festival.

She is survived by her daughter, Sarah (Nathan) Smith and grandchild, Lanna, of Des Moines and sister Janet (Rick) Witt.

Memorial contributions can be made to John Stoddard Cancer Center or the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Des Moines Register from Apr. 1 to Apr. 4, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Iles Funeral Home - Dunn's Chapel
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6 entries
April 10, 2021
Kathy volunteered for me at the Iowa Dept for the Blind. I always enjoyed her company. We had lunch together several times after she quit volunteering. We shared a love of reading. I still have a picture of you and Lanna she gave me on my bulletin board. I am so sorry for your loss. Deena Cross
April 10, 2021
Sarah, Kathy volunteered for me at the Iowa Dept for the Blind. I always enjoyed her company. We met for lunch several times after she could not volunteer any longer. We both had a love of reading. I am so sorry for your loss. I still have a picture of you and Lanna on my bulletin board. Deena Cross
Deena Cross
April 8, 2021
She was/is such a funny, kind person; she finds commonality with anyone she speaks to. I'll miss her spunk, and just a zest for life!
Leanne Findlay
April 6, 2021
I am sorry to hear the sad news! I am Kathy's first cousin and I send my condolences to all of her surviving family and friends. I had not seen Kathy in many years, but the last visit we had was probably in my hometown, and I enjoyed talking with her very much.
Michelle Wadle
April 5, 2021
Kathy had such amazing attitude toward her illness as considered herself “lucky”. She helped many people-I remember her sitting nights with our uncle Francis during his illness so Gertie could rest! Eunice
April 3, 2021
My deepest sympathies to Kathy's family at this time of loss. I was a classmate of Kathy's and have many fond memories of her, her sense of humor and the challenge she presented to all of us to keep up with our classwork and do it well. We lost touch after high school graduation except for class reunions if we both attended. I am sorry for her health struggles which took her life too soon. I know she will be missed by all her family and friends.
Carol Ann Maas
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