Carolyn Kay Hesse

Sept. 5, 2023

Carolyn Kay Hesse

Carolyn Kay Hesse, 83, of Newton, died Tuesday, September 5, 2023, surrounded by family at her home in Newton. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, September 25, 2023, at the First Lutheran Church in Newton. The family will greet friends with a lunch at the church following the service. Memorials to the Hospice of Pella Comfort House or the John Stoddard Cancer Center can be left at the church on the day of the service or at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory in Newton.

Kay, the daughter of Homer and Coral (Nolte) Lamberson, was born October 29, 1939, in Hampton. She grew up in Hampton and Riceville and graduated from Riceville High School. Kay moved to Rochester, Minnesota where she worked at the Mayo Clinic and attended community college for elementary education. Kay always had a keen sense of style and modeled in her spare time. She was the first runner up in the Miss Rochester contest. Kay was united in marriage with LeRoy Hesse in 1962 in Rochester.

Kay and Lee moved to Newton in 1964 where they opened Hesse Men’s Wear.  She worked at the store, and eventually opened her own better ladies clothing store, The Hesse Woman. In 1978, Kay opened Kay’s Beach Boutique in the Central Emporium at Lake Okoboji, which she ran for 40 years, retiring in 2018. The store became her great passion and she obsessed over providing the best possible service to her customers, many of whom returned year after year. Over the years, Kay enjoyed recruiting and coaching & mentoring many talented young women who were just getting their start. Kay and Lee loved spending time with family and friends at Lake Okoboji.

After retirement, Kay kept busy working part-time at Hy-Vee, volunteering at Skiff Medical Center, and continuing to be an active member of First Lutheran Church where she served on the Church Council. Kay was also an active member of PEO and served in officer positions. Kay loved spending time with her family, especially her grandkids and great grandkids. She also enjoyed spending time with her friends, who were so supportive during her illness.

Kay is survived by her sons, Jeff (Julie Conboy) Hesse of Chicago and Brad (Julie Johnson) Hesse of Urbandale; her grandchildren: Allie (Kyler) Garkie of Newton, Ashley (Garrett) Boone of Newton, Trent Hesse of Ankeny, Genevieve Hesse, Timothy Hesse, and Beatrice Hesse, all of Chicago; and her great-grandchildren: Paisley, Avery, and Aubree.  Kay was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, LeRoy Hesse.