Kathleen Marie (Pierce) Jeffery
Kathleen Marie (Pierce) Jeffery, age 53, passed away comfortably on Friday, October 7th, 2022, at home in the loving company and support of her husband and two children. While Kathy was able to successfully overcome a breast cancer diagnosis in 2009, she was unable to do the same for the lymphoma diagnosis received 18 months ago. Despite a life of challenges, Kathy was positive and selfless throughout.
Kathy was born in La Crosse, WI on September 20th, 1969, to James and Janet (McAloon) Pierce. She graduated from Logan High School in 1987 where she made numerous life-long friends. She then graduated in 1992 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, accumulating yet more life-long friends. Her career began in Spring Grove, MN at the Tweeten Lutheran Health Care Center as a hospice social worker. She would later go to work at the Franciscan Skemp Medical Center in La Crosse where she met Kent Jeffery, best of the many friends she would make in her early working years. They married on October 9th, 1999. The pair then moved to Bigfork, MN where they would work together at Bigfork Valley Medical Center – Kathy as a medical social worker and Kent as a physician. It was there in northern Minnesota (and not Canada, as would later be claimed) that Kathy and Kent welcomed their two children Ian and Ava into the world. After four years, Kathy and Kent relocated to Wabasha, MN to be closer the friends and family she so treasured. During this time, Kathy took a break from her professional life to pursue what she affirmed to be the most rewarding vocation of all - motherhood. Kathy was a natural and nurturing mother, and anyone who knows Ian and Ava surely recognizes the results. In 2008, after both children had started school, she took a job at the Wabasha County Auditor/Treasurer’s office. Four years later, she returned to social worker at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Wabasha, once again becoming a colleague to her husband. Of course, she forged yet more enduring friendships at each job before being forced into an early retirement in 2021 following her lymphoma diagnosis.
The one constant throughout Kathy’s life was the value she placed on forming and fostering lasting relationships. Her love for her family was undeniably foremost, and her desire to cherish each moment was only made stronger following the untimely deaths of her brother in 2002, father-in-law in 2004, and mother and her sister in 2014. Beyond family, Kathy enriched the lives of so many friends, coworkers (who would become friends), and countless others through her professional and charitable work. Despite cancer’s tendency to engulf one’s life, Kathy refused to let it define her. She carried on with grace and strength, endeavoring to live fully, to spread love and warmth to others, and to never take for granted the gift of each day. Kathy’s remarkable strength, unbreakable spirit, and unwavering courage will have a lasting effect on all who knew her.
Kathy is survived by her devoted friend, coworker, and husband of 23 years, Kent; son Ian, age 21, junior at University of Minnesota; and daughter, Ava, age 19, sophomore at UW-Madison. She is further survived by her father, James Pierce, mother-in-law, Joyce Jeffery, brothers-in-law John (Jean) Gillies, Jai Jeffery and Terry Jeffery, and sisters-in-law Pennie (Mike) Jorgenson, Meg Jeffery and Annika Anderson. She is additionally survived by her adored nieces and nephews, Abby and Lea Gillies, Hannah and Ben Pierce, Aidan and Anya Jeffery, Liam and Ilsa Jeffery, her great-niece Isabella Gillies, and many special cousins.
Kathy was preceded in death by her mother Janet Pierce, brother David Pierce, sister Sherry Gillies, uncle and aunt Kenneth and Pat Pierce, uncle Darrel Ferch, father-in-law Rodney Jeffery, and grandparents Norman and Charlotte Pierce and Russell and Marie McAloon.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 15th at 11:00 AM at Saint Felix Catholic Church in Wabasha, MN. Fr. Raja will officiate, supported by family friend Fr. Russell and Deacon John Hust. Family and friends may call at Abbott Funeral Home and Crematory (236 2nd St. West in Wabasha) on Friday, October 14th from 4-7 PM, and again on Saturday, October 15th from 10:00 AM until the time of the Mass. A private family burial will take place at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in La Crosse, WI at a later date.
Services entrusted to Abbott Funeral Home & Crematory, Wabasha, MN. Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at www.abbottfh.com