Nancy Kay Zmudka, 77

Nancy ZmudkaNancy Kay Zmudka, age 77

Cold Spring

February 24, 1934 – November 9, 2011

After a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Nancy Kay Zmudka, 77, died peacefully in her sleep on November 9, 2011, at her home in Cold Spring, MN with her daughter by her side.

A former resident of Dubuque, IA for many years, Kay was the first child of the late Thurline (Dunshee) and R.P. White, the loving sister of the late Michael M. White, and the beloved wife of the late Frank L. Zmudka. Kay’s memory will be forever cherished by her daughter and son-in-law, Linda (Elliott) and William Crippes of Richmond, MN, grandsons Brandon Crippes who is stationed overseas and Ben Crippes of Sartell, MN, step-daughter, Christine (Mike) Lambert and their children, John, Joe and Jeana, step-sons James (Peggy) Zmudka and their children Zach and Lucas, and William (Lori) Zmudka, and their children Matt and Molly, all from Dubuque, IA.

Kay was born in Council Bluffs, IA and grew up in the Baltimore, MD area. She attended the University of Maryland before going to work for American Airlines where she was based in Chicago, IL and then later Dallas, TX. After her daughter was born she obtained her teaching degree from Texas Women’s University, and then taught at elementary schools in Texas, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. She obtained her postgraduate degree from Clarke College in Dubuque, IA while working for the Western Dubuque School District where she won several prestigious awards for excellence in education and received numerous promotions in administrative management. During this time she also started an educational tools corporation with three of her friends. Upon her retirement from the school system, Kay worked for Apple Computer in the Education Division for several years before retiring completely in 1992 when she and Frank moved to their lake property in Richmond, MN. After Frank’s passing in 2005, Kay moved to Assumption Court in Cold Spring where she passed away peacefully at her home after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Kay was a treasured friend, respected boss, excellent educator, and deeply loved by her family. She had a brilliant, inquisitive mind and was driven to succeed at every endeavor she pursued. She lived a boisterous, adventurous life, and quietly worked for women’s equality in the workplace at a time in America when few women held management positions. She was a wonderful role model and she imparted her work ethic and love of education to everyone in her family. After their retirement, Frank and Kay kicked back at the lake to do what they loved best; fishing, boating, gardening, numerous hobbies, and spending time with their family and friends. She lived a long, full life, and always said she wanted her friends and family to celebrate the many happy memories they have of her.

A memorial gathering to remember Kay will be held at Behr Funeral Home in Dubuque, IA on Friday, November 18, 2011 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Inurnment will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Dubuque, IA.

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