Cover photo for Uphema "Kay" Kaiser's Obituary
1941 Uphema "Kay" 2024

Uphema "Kay" Kaiser

May 30, 1941 — February 7, 2024

Uphema "Kay" Kaiser, 82, passed on to her heavenly home on February 7th, 2024. Kay was born to her parents, Laura Stevens Stucker Thompson and James Stucker on May 30th, 1941 in Oakland, Iowa. Since the age of one, Kay made her home in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She purchased her home in 1984, where she lived with her husband Leo Kaiser for over 30 years.

Kay was married to Howard Schuemann for 26 years, during which she happily became mother to Deborah Steele (John) and Richard Schuemann (Lisa). Later, she was grandmother to her beloved Laura Steele, Jeffrey Schuemann (Jessica), Sarah Fletcher (Dennis Svensson), Jennifer Kupka (Blain), Jason Schuemann, and great-grandmother to Wyatt, Wesley, Delaney, Elina, Liam, and Elvira.

Kay loved planning birthday parties for Deb and Rich during their childhood, which often included roller skating and sleepovers with friends. She enjoyed attending all their softball and baseball games and band concerts. Additionally, Kay was present at many of her nieces' and nephews' sporting events, sometimes multiple games a night. Kay was known affectionately as "Aunt Kay" or "Mama Kay" to many of her children's friends.

Spending time with her grandchildren was a highlight of her life. Kay had a special relationship with each grandchild and she was grateful to continue sharing in their lives as adults.

On May 27th, 1995 Kay married her best friend and soulmate, Leo Kaiser. Kay and Leo were married 29 happy and exciting years together. They enjoyed each other's families, fishing, cooking, dancing, many trips (especially to oceans), country music, and playing cribbage and Rummikub. Some of their favorite vacation spots included South Padre Island, Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, and Branson, Missouri. Branson trips always included shows from their favorite country western singers. Kay and Leo made multiple trips to Arizona, including attending a nephew's Marine Corps retirement and celebrating a sister and brother-in-law's wedding anniversary. One trip to Florida resulted in an exact replica of an 89-inch, 60-pound sailfish Leo caught that Kay lovingly let him display in their home.

Favorite Kay and Leo holiday traditions included St. Patty's Day food and a visit to nephew Tim's bar to celebrate, oyster stew on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve celebrations at local hotels with swimming pools accompanied by family, and elaborate Easter baskets for the grandkids. Retired life was often spent watching tv shows together into the wee hours of the morning (particularly old westerns such as Gunsmoke), teaching their dog Sparky new tricks, and always saying good night, no matter the hour.

Kay worked for doctors in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area for over 40 years starting in 1969 and ending with 27 years at the UNMC Pediatric Clinic, before she retired in 2012. Kay loved interacting with the children at the clinic and made many life-long friends through work.

Kay was a member of Walnut Grove Baptist Church for many years. She always had a great love for her heavenly Father. Kay continued her religious studies with close friends during weekly Bible study meetings. The group enjoyed fun outings together, including lunches, shopping, and events at the Bellevue Senior Center.

Kay cherished her friends in the Forever Young Red Hat group who met monthly for many years and went on a trip to Ireland together. Kay was also proud of continued relationships and visits with her classmates from their two-room country school, some of whom she met in kindergarten. She also found great pleasure meeting for lunch with her many first cousins throughout the years.

Kay was a dog lover since childhood and she had many memorable dogs throughout her lifetime. Her fur babies over the years included Rusty, Tiny, Reggie, Buffy, Dolly, and Sparky.

One of her greatest pleasures, besides her grandchildren, was genealogy. When Kay first began researching her family tree, she used snail mail to write letters requesting birth, death, and marriage certificates. The advent of the internet and DNA ancestry kits provided new tools to discover information. Kay spent countless hours on, locating historical documents, and contacting extended family to update her family tree. Kay was so happy to find some of her long-lost family after searching nearly 40 years, and then connecting with them in person and via social media.

Kay loved watching Dancing with the Stars with family. When she couldn't watch DWTS in person with family, there would be phone calls and texts during commercial breaks to critique the dances. Kay meticulously recorded all the contestants, scores, and voting phone numbers in a journal each season. Kay even went to a DWTS Live show with family when the tour came to Omaha.

A few of Kay's favorite things included Pepsi, Sweet-n-Low, orange Powerade, Kemps Sherbet Ice Cream, Kraft American cheese and mayo sandwiches, Dairy Queen Dilly Bars, Facebook, Gummy Bears, tomatoes from Leo's garden, QVC, and Jesus.

Such a special lady, Kay touched so many lives over the years through thoughtful conversations (in person or by phone) full of love and laughter, heartfelt text messages, and hand-written letters/cards. She would often share stories about her family and friends from all stages of her life with those closest to her.

Everyone appreciated Kay's outgoing and welcoming personality, her ready smile, and her loyalty to her family, God, and country. Kay had a way of understanding and being open to all people and accepting them with an open heart, regardless of which generation they were from.

Kay maintained a positive outlook on life, despite the curveballs or medical struggles life gave her. Regardless of how she was feeling, Kay remained caring, compassionate, and truly inspirational to those who knew her. Many people would never have gotten out of bed with her daily pain, yet Kay never let it prevent her from truly living her life to the absolute fullest. She made every moment count, loving fiercely and praying deeply.

Kay is preceded in death by her parents, by her beloved brothers Don Stucker, Dean Stucker, and James Walter; sisters Ruth Bolt, Betty Harris, Lois Fox, Helen Stucker, Marjorie Bruce, and Marjorie Clodfelter; and nephews William "Rusty" Stucker and Randy Bolt; and several beloved in-laws including Delbert Kaiser, LaVerna VanMatre (Francis), and Yvonne Stucker.

Kay will be greatly missed by her devoted husband Leo, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her sister Marjorie Calabro, sister's-in-law Kay Stucker, Iva Kaiser, and Judy Derry (Claude), brothers-in-law Lawrence Kaiser (Sharon), and Leonard Eilers, her many nieces, nephews, great- and great-great- nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.

Per her wishes, Kay was cremated. She will be buried, at a later date, at Hazel Dell Cemetery (Crescent, Iowa).

A Celebration of Life Service for Kay will be held on Sunday, June 2nd, 2024 at 1 PM at Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home in Council Bluffs, Iowa (1221 North 16th Street).

The family will direct memorials.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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