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Celebration of Life Luncheon

Ireton Community Center
Saturday September 4th, 2021
12:00pm - 2:30pm

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Kathleen A. Huitink

KATHLEEN A. (GAUL) HUITINK, 68, of Hawarden, Iowa, formerly of Spirit Lake, Iowa and Ireton, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, April 1, 2020, surrounded by her family at Oak Hill Assisted Living in Hawarden after a long and brave battle with ALS.

We will be having a Celebration of Life luncheon for Kathy on Saturday, September 4th from 12pm-2:30pm at the Ireton Community Center (402 4th St). Lunch will be provided and served at 12:15. We welcome all who want to attend this casual gathering to share memories of Kathy and celebrate her life. Thank you. Mike, Jon, Dan, Zach and families.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be directed to the ALS Iowa Chapter. The Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden is assisting the family.

Kathy was born on November 5, 1951, in Hawarden, Iowa, the daughter of Robert and Audrey (Anderson) Gaul. Kathy attended West Sioux schools, graduating from West Sioux High School in 1970. Kathy was West Sioux’s 1969 Homecoming Queen, a wrestling cheerleader, an “A” student, and an avid Falcon supporter.

At age 16, while attending West Sioux, Kathy met the love of her life, Terry Huitink. They married in Hawarden in 1971, and enjoyed over forty years of marriage. That included raising four boys in Ireton and in the West Sioux School system, and attending countless sporting and other events. Kathy and Terry retired to their dream lake home and their “lake neighbors” in Spirit Lake in 2009.

Kathy’s life was marked by her commitment to teaching and West Sioux Community Schools. She obtained education degrees from Drake University (B.S., 1976) and Morningside College (Masters of Education, 1994). She was a member of the West Sioux Education Association, the Iowa Education Association, and the National Education Association. Kathy taught children for 33 years, both as a preschool teacher in Ireton for 16 years, and as a West Sioux physical education and special education teacher for 17 years.

Kathy had an unwavering commitment to her communities. She treasured her time as a member of the Lambda Pi Sorority of Ireton. She was a church youth group leader. She spent her life supporting West Sioux activities and athletics, and was named the Falcon Wrestling Fan of the Year in 2019, and was recently visited by the Falcon Wrestling Club youth wrestlers at Oak Hill before they traveled to their state tournament. She was an avid Iowa Hawkeyes fan. The staff at Oak Hill lauded her positive attitude and impact on its community, residents and staff, even as she battled the ALS disease that ultimately took her life.

Most of all, Kathy treasured her family. She proudly lived her final years as “Grandma Kathy” to her eight grandchildren, treasuring her time with them through visits or FaceTime. Kathy served as a virtual second mother and grandmother to her nieces, nephews and cousins. Kathy loved and treasured her four boys, and she told a local journalist that she took pride in their choice of spouses who, in her words, “were perfect fits for them.” Kathy persevered through both the devastation of her husband Terry’s untimely death in 2014 and her own ALS battle, to lead her family and remain a fixture at West Sioux and in the community.

Survivors include her children, Michael and Sandy Huitink, and grandchildren Lucas and Kathryn, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Jonathan and Melissa Huitink, and grandchildren Lauren and Alex, of La Grange Park, Illinois; Daniel and Jenna Huitink, and grandchildren Thomas, Allie, Katelyn and Haley of Pella, Iowa; and Zachary and Chelsea Huitink of Syracuse, New York; sisters, Karen (Gary) Marshall of Vermillion, South Dakota and Connie (Ron) Koopmans of Ireton; brother, Steve (Renee) Gaul of Hawarden; sister-in-law, Kim (Dave) Hegedus of Urbandale, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.

Kathy was preceded in death by her husband, Terry; her father and mother, Robert and Audrey Gaul; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Willard and Bert Huitink; her brother-in-law, Douglas Huitink passed away on November 10, 2020.


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Guestbook

Jim and I would like to pass on our sympathy to all of Kathy's family and friends. She was a great person with a heart of gold.

Jim and Denise Harry Apr 5 2020 12:00 AM

Kathy was my younger son's (Justin) preschool teacher, friend and classmate of my sister and brother-in-law, and a role model to us all. Her patience and kind smile warmed everyone who knew her. Both Kathy and Terry made time to talk whenever I'd see them. Their love of family and community was their top priority and they taught us all how to be better people. Love and light to their family and friends.

Sandy Groom-Meeks Apr 5 2020 12:00 AM

You have our deepest sympathy. Kathy was a very brave and courageous women who loved her family. Cherish the memories. Bill and Mary DeVries

Bill and Mary DeVries Apr 3 2020 12:00 AM

Wishing you peace and comfort at this time of grief. Sending hugs toConnie and Kim. Kathy was full of energy, kindness and patience. I loved babysitting for her two oldest boys when I lived across the street from them. She always had her clocks in the house set 10 minutes fast so she could get where she needed to go in time....a silly memory of mine.She and I had a fewbrief visits together after she was diagnosed with ALS. I admired her strength and courage. A truly beautiful person she was!

June (Schipper) Gambaiana Apr 3 2020 12:00 AM

We are very sad to learn of your loss. Kathy was a treasured friend through the Court of Appeals. Her gentle, caring spirit was matched by her strength and values. She will be so missed!

Van and Julie Zimmer Apr 3 2020 12:00 AM

I had forgotten about the 10 minutes. Thanks for the reminder, and the note.

Mike Huitink Apr 3 2020 12:00 AM

To the entire Huitink and Gaul families:
Our deepest sympathies are extended out to each and everyone of you. Terry and Kathy are now united with our heavenly Father and with their loved oneswho have gone before them. She was such a "staple and inspiration" in the West Sioux Community, her entire life.
Rodd & Gwen Holtkamp
WSHS 1975

rodd holtkamp Apr 2 2020 12:00 AM

Kathy was such a loving person and she touched thousands of hearts. We were high school classmates; she was our daughters excellent pre-school teacher; my teaching colleague and room-sharer at West Sioux... and always a friend to me as well as to everyone she knew. I find it comforting to believe that she and Terrys spirits are celebrating. To her whole family, please know that she spoke and wrote about you all, with such appreciation, pride, and love. May time and your beautiful memories of her, give you peace. Sincerely, Cindy Groom-Harry

Cindy Groom-Harry Apr 2 2020 12:00 AM

Our sincere condolences to all of Kathys family. Kind and compassionate immediately come to mind. Death separates us from the ones we love, but it is the vividness of memories that keeps them alive forever in our hearts. God bless

Rick and Carol Salberg Apr 2 2020 12:00 AM

My heart goes out to you in the loss of your Mom and Grandma. My first teaching job was in Ireton over 25 years ago and I kept in touch with Kathy ever since. She was a dear friend. She was such a sweet and kind lady with a big heart! I have all boys too. We loved getting together and talking about our sons! She will be so missed! It helps knowing that she is now with the love of her life once again. May God's promise of a beautiful life in Heaven give you strength and hope. May the passing of time and wonderful memories give you peace.

Laura Post Apr 2 2020 12:00 AM

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