Kathryn Ann Callahan

March 17, 1937January 12, 2020

Kathryn Ann Callahan, 82, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at Mercy One Medical Center in West Des Moines. A celebration of life will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020 at St. Mark Lutheran Church in West Des Moines with burial at Resthaven Cemetery.

Kathryn was born March 17, 1937 in Clarinda, IA to Stanley and Selma Forst. She graduated from the University of Iowa’s College of Education in 1959. She married her high school sweetheart, Dennis A. May on August 24, 1956 in Clarinda, IA. They were stationed in many military locations early in their marriage and then settled in West Des Moines in 1965. In April of 1966, Dennis, a U.S. Army Captain, was killed during a flight mission while serving in Vietnam.

Kathryn married Richard R. Callahan on July 3, 1969 and together they lived in Des Moines while raising five children. She taught elementary school in the West Des Moines School District. Her second career was at the P.E.O. International Office on Grand Avenue in Des Moines where she retired as the Assistant Treasurer in 1998.

Kathryn was a faithful servant, loving, generous friend, mother, and grandmother. She took pleasure in teaching, directing, and playing bridge (Ruby Life Master). Her love of traveling allowed her to explore most of the world. She enjoyed watching sports and loved following any team that her children or grandchildren supported. Kathryn also enjoyed puzzles, attending the Iowa State Fair, playing games and cards, gardening, and any time she spent with family and friends. She was an active member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in West Des Moines. Kathryn was also a 50-year member of P.E.O. and served several terms as President and as officer in other capacities for chapter EH.

Kathryn is survived by her five children, Dr. Richard (Stacey) Callahan, Kathleen Callahan (Robert Hunchberger), David (Anne) May, Denise (Larry) Gioffredi, and Brian (Michelle) Callahan; eleven grandchildren, Travis Phillips, Brittnie Harris, Sarah Garcia, Amanda Farland, Jenna Nobile, Alan Ridgway, Cecilia May, Ashley Ridgway, Andrew Gioffredi, Dennis May, and Daniel May; and six great-grandchildren, Quincie Garcia, Cohen Harris, Evan Harris, Karbon Noble, Kannon Noble, and Lanie Farland.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Mark Lutheran Church or the P.E.O. Foundation.


  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, January 18, 2020


Kathryn Ann Callahan

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Megan Sargeant

January 17, 2020

First I want to Thank you for letting us know of mom's departure. It was certainly a pleasure having met her, even for a short while. We felt as though it was an old friendship. Will always remember her calm, sweet, friendly reception of two total strangers. Whenever I play FARKLE mom will come to mind. Our deepest condolences to you and the family, and certainly to all who knew her.
Love 💕💕💕🌹🌹🌹Walter and Megan

Retta Mae Woodward

January 15, 2020

I was sorry to hear of Kathryn's death. I enjoyed the few times I was able to be with her. She was always a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the Christmas letters I received over the years I was acquainted with her. She will be missed but remembered with good memories.

Love to her family, Retta Mae

Paula Hill

January 15, 2020

My heart just stopped when I saw that Kathy had passed. I have many fond memories from when she lived across the street from me. She would come over for a little visit and we would catch up on the "family stuff" and talk about current events, etc.
What a beautiful family she raised and they will miss her dearly, as will the rest of us.
Rest in Peace dear Kathy.
Love, Paula Hill

Eunice Christensen

January 14, 2020

Kathy C. was one of my very dear friends here at Walnut Ridge.
Twice, I attended drama presentations at her church. Her grandson
was in each production. Kathy also sang in our choir here. She
made beautiful recycled cards which we enjoyed sending to others.
What a lovely woman she was! Kathy enriched the lives of ALL persons she knew. She will be deeply missed.