Obituary of Katherine Branstetter
A funeral service for Katherine Branstetter, 97, of Milford will be held Friday, January 19, 2024 at 10:30AM at Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church in Milford. Burial will be at Milford Cemetery. A visitation will be on Thursday, January 18th from 4:00-7:00 PM at Turner Jenness Funeral Home in Milford. In addition, a Celebration of Life gathering is being planned for summer, 2024.
In Loving Memory of Katherine Coleen Maxine Glorabelle (Boardman) Branstetter
Katherine Coleen Maxine Glorabelle (Boardman) Branstetter, fondly known as Kay or "Tootie," graced this world on October 1, 1926, on a farm in Arnolds Park, Iowa, where the lush Emerald Hills Golf Course now stands. She emerged as the youngest of fourteen children to William and Tilly (Knutson) Boardman. Kay's early years were shaped by the trials of the Great Depression, yet she thrived in the embrace of a loving, caring, and vivacious family.
Kay began her academic career at the historic Okoboji Township School, and later, she proudly graduated from Milford High School, where she earned the honor of being crowned homecoming queen in 1944. It was within the halls of Milford High School that she met Leonard Hugh "Lenny" Branstetter. Their union in 1945 marked the beginning of a life and they were blessed with two sons, Keith Andrew and Steven Hugh Branstetter.
While Kay's heart overflowed with love for her boys, a desire for a daughter lingered. Unable to expand their biological family, Kay and Lenny chose the path of adoption, warmly embracing two girls, Sally Kay and Lucy Gay, along with a son named Jerry Jay. The Branstetter family found homes in Milford and Arnolds Park, with brief but memorable stints in Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona.
Following their divorce in 1968, Kay made the courageous decision to move the children back to Milford from Arizona, where she embraced the role of a single mother. Despite the challenges, she provided a nurturing and loving home for her children, demonstrating resilience and dedication in the face of change.
Kay, a devoted mother, took pride in meticulously dressing herself and her children. Terrace Park Beach became a haven for joyous family moments during the summer months. Kay's artistic flair was evident in her creations that adorned local homes and venues.
Kay cherished her role as a Grandma, dedicating a significant amount of her time to hosting sleepovers, playing games, and chauffeuring her grandchildren to various activities. These precious moments created lasting memories for her grandchildren, who will forever hold them dear. Her absence will be deeply felt, and she will be greatly missed by all who were touched by her love and warmth.
With unwavering faith in God, Kay lived a life characterized by kindness and generosity. Her journey led her to a fulfilling career working for Upper Des Moines, retiring with a legacy of compassion and service. On January 11, 2024, Kay peacefully departed this world in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, her son Steven "Pebe" Branstetter, and daughter-in-law Pauline Branstetter. Kay is survived by her sons Keith Branstetter of Milford, IA, and Jerry (DeeDee) Branstetter of Gilbert, AZ, daughters Sally (Jack) Zweibahmer of Milford, IA, and Lucy (Tony) Smith of Milford, IA, along with seventeen grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
As we honor the memory of Kay let us reflect on her love, resilience, and the lasting imprint she left on the hearts of those fortunate to know her. May she rest in eternal peace.
At Turner Jenness family funeral homes, we understand the importance of family. We believe in treating your family as we would our own.