To view Kathleen's Life Tribute Video, Click Here. Kathleen Marie Keyser was born July 11, 1933, to Raymond and Remore Steffensen in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She grew up in the countryside of Council Bluffs where she played with her older sister Gloria, cousins, and friends. She loved animals from an early age and would take in stray dogs. She had a German Shepherd named Queenie and a terrier named Rags that she used to enjoy dressing up. She was one of the last few of her generation to attend a one room schoolhouse. During her teenage years, her father moved the family to a house closer to town. In the new house, Kathy and her sister shared a tiny bedroom. She graduated from high school with honors. After graduation, she was employed as a secretary for the Federal Civil Service at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. While working there she met a young, handsome enlisted man, named John Keyser. They dated for two years before marrying in February of 1954. Thirteen months later they had a daughter, Debra Kay. Later, a son, Michael, was lifted into God's hands at birth. Being an Air Force wife meant moving the family several times. The family was first transferred to Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. There, they bought their first house and had the pleasure of watching it being built. Their second daughter, Kristie Ann, was born here in San Antonio. Next John received orders to Wiesbaden, Germany. He headed out before the family to report for duty and to find living quarters. At a later date, Kathy ventured out with her two young daughters, ages 6 and 2, on an 18 hour plane ride to Germany. John's tour of duty in Germany lasted 4 years. During this time, Kathy met many challenges with the help of her friends and her determination and courage. One of those challenges was learning to drive a stick shift VW bug. She had to maneuver steep hills and roundabouts, as well as learn the German driving signs and laws. While in Germany, the family traveled to Austria, Holland, and Denmark. In Austria, the family took a cable car lift to explore ice caves. Holland provided an array of experiences, from rows and rows of bright colorful tulips in full bloom to peaceful and meticulous tulip parks. It was there Kathy had her first taste of lasagna, Dutch style, with a creamy white sauce instead of the traditional red sauce. Because Kathy was of Danish decent, John took her to Denmark to visit with relatives she knew. They were also able to visit with others she had never met before. After the tour of Germany was over, the family went back to San Antonio. They lived there until John received orders for Travis Air Force Base in Northern California, where they lived until their final move as a military family to Southern California at Norton Air Force Base. After 26 years of service John retired from the military. Kathy and John then remained in Southern California for the next 30 years. Family meant everything to her, which was why she decided to stay home to raise her daughters. She was always there for her daughters, through the good and the bad, no matter what age they were. She was extremely proud of her three grandchildren, Sheryl, Kaylene, and Eric. When the grandchildren moved to Oro Valley, Arizona, Kathy and John followed them there in 1997 to live close to the them. They stayed in Oro Valley for the rest of her life. Kathy was a social woman and made many great friends in Arizona. She loved talking on the phone and going out to lunch with friends and family, especially for Mexican food. Kathy was a wonderful cook and loved to try out new recipes for her family. She enjoyed making Danish soup, Danish fried eggplant, and anything else the family wanted. Because she loved animals, the family had many unusual pets over the years. There were ducks, chickens, a horse, parakeets, and of course dogs and cats. Holidays were a special time for the family. Kathy enjoyed having homemade treats of popcorn balls, fudge and cookies. She knew just the right gift to give, whether it was for Christmas or a birthday. She started the Christmas tradition of giving a gag gift each year. The grandchildren enjoyed and looked forward to who was going to receive the gag gift and what Grandma had chosen for the gift. Kathy fought a courageous and valiant battle with leukemia for 18 months. She eventually slipped away peacefully in her sleep on July 4th. Kathy was the foundation and rock of the family. She was a great listener and always kept everyone well connected. Our family will miss her with all our hearts and will remember her forever. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and best friend. You will be with us always mom.