Vigen Memorial Home - Bobbi J. Uyemura, 87, Keokuk


Bobbi Jo (Risk) Uyemura, 87, of Keokuk, Iowa, died on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice House in West Burlington, Iowa. She died peacefully after a sudden and severe stroke, with her family close by.
Bobbi was born January 16, 1937 in Canton, Missouri, to Robert and Margaret (Gruber) Risk. Her family moved to Keokuk when she was in elementary school, and she graduated from Keokuk High School, excelling in academics and music. After receiving a college scholarship from Steel Castings, her father’s employer, Bobbi attended Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, earning high marks and graduating with her Bachelor’s degree. While at Parsons, she met fellow student Paul K. Uyemura. The two became engaged and were married in December 1958.
After graduation, their eldest son, Daniel, was born and the family moved to Muscatine, Iowa, where Deborah and David were born. Vicki and Rob were born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, following a move there.
After her marriage to Paul ended in 1968, Bobbi and her children returned to Keokuk to live. She dedicated herself to raising her five children, but when her youngest child was in middle school, she accepted a job at the Lee County Courthouse, rising quickly to become South Lee County Trial Court Supervisor. She held that position for 20 years until her retirement in 2001.
She was a voracious reader, immersing herself many different types of books. She had a deep appreciation for American history and stories of the past. She had a passion for politics and loved to watch “Morning Joe” on television, along with other news and programs covering politics. She made it a point to vote in every election. She also read her Bible daily, and was a nearly life-long member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Keokuk until her hearing loss made attending services too frustrating.     
Bobbi loved to garden, tending to her flowers and keeping her yard well-trimmed. She was an exceptional cook, known for her delicious meals that brought family and friends together. Bobbi seemed happiest when there were as many chairs as would fit around her huge dining room table on holidays and family get togethers, with the kids’ table right alongside. She taught all her kids how to cook from a young age, passing along many of the skills and recipes she’d learned, especially from her two grandmothers. Gathering for Christmas in Keokuk was a treasured tradition for Bobbi, her kids, and her grandkids.
Bobbi is survived by two sons, Daniel, and David (Ginger), both of Dallas, Texas, two daughters, Deborah, of Irving, Texas, and Vicki (Paul) Horter, of Wayland, Missouri, and daughter-in-law Mitzi Uyemura of St. Louis, Missouri. She is survived by five grandsons, Brandon Hall (Meredith) of  Longmont, Colorado, Corey Horter, of New London, Iowa, Jonathan Uyemura (Samantha Steele) of Keokuk, Iowa, and Owen and Ethan Uyemura, both of St. Louis, Missouri. She is also survived by one great grandson, Kazuma Robert Uyemura, of Keokuk, Iowa, as well as by many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved son Robert Sachio Uyemura, her parents, her brother, Gary Risk, her much loved Aunt Jo (Gruber) Brown, and Jo’s husband, Bill Brown.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 16 from 5 - 7 p.m. at the Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk, Iowa.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 17 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Keokuk, Iowa, with The Rev. Milo Van Veldhuizen officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Keokuk, Iowa,  www.ucc.org/church/st-paul-united-church-of-christ/ or to the Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice House in West Burlington, Iowa at  www.greatriverhealth.org/about-us/foundation/
Online condolences may be sent to Bobbi’s family at www.vigenmemorialhome.com/

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