DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home obituary – Mary Kathleen Cummings Parmeter, 100, Keokuk



Mary Kathleen Cummings Parmeter, 100, was welcomed into Heaven on Monday, March 7, 2022, after a long and happy life.  Kathleen was born on March 25, 1921, in Burlington, Iowa, to Leon Raymond and Florence Rose (Bulger) Cummings.  She was the fifth of eleven siblings.  She attended Burlington Catholic Schools, graduating from St. Paul’s High School.  Kathleen worked at Schramm’s Department Store in Burlington and the Ordinance Plant in West Burlington during the second World War. 

On January 6, 1945, Kathleen married her sweetheart, John Richard Parmeter.  They moved to San Angelo, Texas, where John completed his military service.  In late 1945, Kathleen and John returned to Burlington where she began her lifelong mission of making a home and caring for her family.  In 1951, the family moved to Keokuk where Kathleen lived for the next 70 years. 

Kathleen was a member of All Saints Church in Keokuk.  In keeping with her servant nature, she devoted much of her time to her church community.  Over the years, Kathleen served on the Altar Society, sang in the choir, counted collections, and was a lector and lay minister.  She was a prayer warrior; her faith was unshakable and sustained her over her lifetime.

Kathleen was an avid bridge player well into her 90’s.  She loved watching college sports, especially the University of Iowa and Iowa State.  She also loved baseball and was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinal fan.  Kathleen enjoyed playing games of all sorts, reading, and gardening.  Being surrounded by and spending time with her family gave her more joy than anything else in life. 

Kathleen was preceded in death by her husband John, son Bob Parmeter, and granddaughter Madeline Shodeen Parmeter.  She is survived by eleven children:  Tom Parmeter of Ennepetal, Germany, Maryann Walker of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dick Parmeter of Keokuk, John (Anita) Parmeter of Des Moines, Peg Parmeter of Houston, Texas, Peter Parmeter of Keokuk, Bill Parmeter of Ft. Myers, Florida, Jim (Rose) Parmeter of Charlotte, Kathy (Warren) Gichard of Solon, Rene (Mike) Hamilton of Houston, Texas, and Patty Stolley of Iowa City; 17 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and sister Connie Cummings of Davenport, Iowa.

Visitation will be Monday, March 14th from 5-7pm at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home in Keokuk. A Christian Vigil Service will be held at 7 pm on Monday directly following the visitation. The funeral Mass will be Tuesday, March 15th at 10:30am at All Saints Church in Keokuk. Burial will follow at the Keokuk National Cemetery. The funeral Mass may be livestreamed at

Memorials are suggested to All Saints Church or Keokuk Catholic Schools.

Tributes and condolences may be left at

DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home of Keokuk is in charge of arrangements.

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