Mary Podlesak

Mary Katherine Podlesak, the daughter of Joseph and Ella (Pursley) Kemmer, was born Jan. 9, 1928, in Pocahontas, and departed this life with her family at her side on June 3 at Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care in Jefferson.

She lived a full life to the age of 92 years, four months and 24 days.

Katherine attended and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Pocahontas in 1945. While in school, Katherine won the county spelling bee contest and was able to go to the state contest in Des Moines. 

She attended St. Joseph Mercy School of Nursing in Fort Dodge and graduated in 1948. After her graduation, she started her nursing career, which spanned 41 years.

On May 27, 1950, Katherine Kemmer was united in marriage to John Podlesak at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pocahontas. Four children were born to this union.

The family lived in Pocahontas until 1958, when they moved to Jefferson. From 1962-65, the family lived in Aurora, Colo., where Katherine worked at a Denver hospital. Upon returning to Jefferson, John started a car dealership, Podlesak Motors, and Katherine worked at the hospital.

She served as house supervisor at the Greene County Medical Center until 1983, when she assumed a new position of infection control coordinator in the quality assurance department. She held the position until her retirement in 1989.

After retiring, Katherine and John spent the next 19 years during the winters in Arizona, where they loved playing golf. After John’s death in 2015, Katherine made her residence at The Gardens Retirement Community in Jefferson until May of 2019, when she entered Greene County Long Term Care.

Katherine was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson and a member of the Catholic Daughters and the St. Joseph Guild. She was also a member of the Lakeside Golf Course and was a member of a local bridge club.

Katherine is survived by three children: John (Sue) Podlesak, Mary Ann (Lyle) Wright and Carol Delp, all of Jefferson; five grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and two sisters: Ruth Walsh, of Varina, and Patty (Arthur) Knight, of Omaha.

Those who preceded her in death were her parents; husband John in 2015; son Steven in 1994; four brothers: James, Francis, Robert and Kenneth; and three sisters: Delores, Elizabeth and Ella Mae.

Funeral services were held June 6 at the Brown Funeral Home, with Father John Gerald officiating. Interment was made in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson.

Serving as casket bearers were Nick Podlesak, Brad Podlesak, Michael Wright, Ronnie Wright, Trevor Ross and Mark Walsh.

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161