The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 1, 2013

Kathleen M. Nibbe


—    Kathleen M. "Kay" Nibbe, age 95, passed into the loving arms of her gentle shepherd and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, August 17th, at Keystone Communities in Mankato.

   A Memorial Service of Celebration of Kathleen's Life will be Thursday, September 5, at 11 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Mankato, with Rev. Dr. Scott E. Olson officiating, with visitation at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Memorials are preferred to Grace Lutheran Church, Mayo Health Systems Mankato Hospice, Mayo Health Systems Mankato Palliative Care, or Potters House of Prayer. Mankato Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

   Kathleen Marguerite Jenkins was born on October 21, 1917 in Red Wing, Minnesota, to Charles Louis and Anna Louise (Hultquist) Jenkins. Kay was a 1935 graduate of Red Wing High School and worked at the Red Wing Pottery Salesroom. On September 30, 1945, Kathleen married her beloved, Kenneth E. Nibbe, at the parsonage in Fort Smith, Arkansas. To this union were born a daughter, Meredith, and a son, Craig. Kay and Kenny made their home in Red Wing for the first 27 years of their marriage. Along with being a creative homemaker, Kay was employed at F.W. Woolworth, Montgomery Ward catalog store, and Hughes Shoes. Kay was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Red Wing.

   In 1972 Kay and Kenny moved to Mankato, where they enjoyed volunteering with the Mankato Lutheran Home, Hot Meals on Wheels, and Grace Lutheran Church, including the Sweet Connection newsletter team. Kay felt privileged to have been an eight-gallon blood donor. An excellent seamstress and needle worker, Kay fashioned Meredith's wedding gown, won several ribbons in "Dress a Doll" contests, and made numerous afghans and miniature baby booties for family and friends. She was known for her roast beef dinners and her desserts. Kay and Kenny delighted in their grandchildren and great grandchildren, enjoying their activities, becoming known as "Grandma and Grandpa" to Heather's and Heidi's gymnastics teams, including Heather's Gustavus team. They followed CJ's Breck and Yale hockey teams and Elsie's and Lyla's volleyball games. A game of Bingo, cards, or Don't Get Mad brought forth Kay's competitive spirit. Following Kenny's death in 2007, Kay moved to Keystone Communities. Kay had a flair for accessorizing her outfits. Those attending the service are invited to wear a favorite scarf or pin.  Kay's relationships with God, family, and friends were very important to her.

   Kathleen will be deeply missed by her daughter and son-in-law, Meredith and Phil Fitch of St. Peter; son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Jane Nibbe of Wayzata; grandchildren, Heather Fitch of St. Paul; Heidi and husband, Andrew Drummer of Janesville; Christopher "CJ" and wife, Julie Nibbe of Shorewood; and Caroline and husband, Justin McCoy of Maple Plain; great grandchildren, Elsie Sieberg, Lyla Sieberg, Madelyn McCoy, and Baby Boy Nibbe, anticipated this fall. Also surviving are sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Genevieve Gust, Delores O'ligney, Gloria Nibbe, Velma Nibbe, Mary Jean Nibbe, Francelle and Marvin Nibbe, nieces and nephews, and special family friend, Don Hullsiek.

   In addition to Kenneth, Kay was predeceased by brother and sister-in-law, Stanley and Inez Jenkins, sister and brother-in-law, Eileen and Clarence Hartley, Ken's brothers Alfred, Norman, Lendol, and Daryl Nibbe, Ken's sisters Marjorie Hart and Dorothy Bryner and brothers-in-law Vern Hart, Alvin Bryner, Maynard O'ligney, and Jerry Gust, and dear friends Fran Hullsiek and Elsa and Herb Fitch.

   Many thanks to the Keystone Communities staff and to the Mayo Mankato Palliative Care team and Hospice team for their compassionate care, and to Rev. Dr. Olson for his meaningful visits.