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1931 Kathryn 2023

Kathryn E. Hiemstra

June 23, 1931 — July 1, 2023

Kathryn E. Hiemstra, age 92, passed away Saturday morning, July 1, 2023, in Rochester, MN.

Kathy was born, June 23, 1931, on a farm in Clitherall, MN, the daughter of Eugene and Flora (Whiting) Dobbs, and the younger sister of David and Phyllis. She graduated from Battle Lake High School at age 16 and joined her parents in moving to San Francisco where she took a job with the telephone company. There she met Robert Shaumleffel, and they were married in 1950.

Bob and Kathy had three children: Virginia, Mark, and Nancy. They settled in Southern California spending ten years in Downey and the next twenty-two in Thousand Oaks. Kathy took on most of the child-raising responsibilities creating time for playing board and card games, reading stories together, and sharing chores. She made family time a combination of fun, learning and bonding.

In 1981, Kathy and Bob divorced. She remained in Thousand Oaks although she took trips to spend time with family and friends in San Francisco as well as those remaining in Minnesota. In 1984, Kathy married Robert Hiemstra and they remained in Thousand Oaks. In the following 30 years, they moved 6 times: Kalamazoo, MI, Destin, FL, a return to Thousand Oaks, Nipomo, CA, Bloomington, IN and twice to Pensacola, FL. Robert passed away in Pensacola in 2014. Later that year, Kathy moved to Rochester, MN to be closer to daughters Nancy and Virginia.

Kathy was a compassionate woman throughout her life. As a young child, she found an injured chick in the farmyard. She had heard that animals needed to be warmed if they are hurt. She found a metal cookie pan, lined it with a dish cloth and set the pan with dishcloth and chick on the burner. Luckily, her mother rescued the chick in time!

As an adult, Kathy directed her compassion in many directions. In the 50’s, she “marched for dimes” in her community. She helped Brownies and Cub Scouts earn their badges. She taught disabled young women cooking skills. She invited her own children to give some of their newest toys to a friend undergoing chemotherapy. In her later years, one of her greatest joys was volunteering at the Dove Gift Shop at West Florida Hospital.

Kathy is survived by her three children, Virginia Johnson, Mark Shaumleffel, and Nancy (William) Hodson; two grandchildren, Daniel (Suzanne) Hodson and Michael (Elizabeth) Hodson; and four great-grandchildren as well.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for any donations made to:
Benedictine Foundation-Rochester/Byron
4001 19th Ave NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Or donate online at

Per Kathryn’s wishes, funeral services will be arranged in the future.

Assistance provided by the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.

Online condolences may be sent to
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathryn E. Hiemstra, please visit our flower store.


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