Joe and Sue Kaesbauer Memorial Scholarship


Growing up in Dubuque, Iowa, Joe and Sue Kaesbauer were high school sweethearts. Married 54 years and blessed with five children, they instilled family as a priority along with the importance of taking care of others and giving back to the community. Both graduated from Dubuque Senior High School, Joe in 1953 and Sue in 1954. Although economic circumstances did not allow either of them to pursue a post-secondary degree, they both achieved success in their career choices. Joe went on to become Superintendent of A. Y. McDonalds Manufacturing and Sue became the owner of two businesses in Dubuque (Creative Touch Gallery and Ooh La La Home Décor) and was involved in commercial property development.

Joe Kaesbauer was a model husband and father who always saw the good in people and believed in leading by example. He stressed the importance of character, hard work, and enjoying life. Joe was interested in what people were learning and had a great passion to learn new things himself. He volunteered in his community with the Boys’ Club, food kitchen, his church, Mason’s, and the high school booster club. He enjoyed athletics and participated in high school track, men’s fast-pitch softball, bowling, and golfing, taking great joy in watching his children and grandchildren participate in all of their various activities as well.

Sue Kaesbauer was the loving wife and mother who wanted the best for her children and anyone who knew her. A great motivator and mentor, she loved learning and was fearless in trying new things. If she was in charge of something, she would go above and beyond the expectations to make it great. These traits allowed her to accomplish her dream of becoming a business owner. Sue volunteered with the Girl Scouts, her church, Dubuque Symphony, Sunshine at Finley Hospital, and PEO. She also participated in basketball and was a state champion bowler.

Upon Joe’s death in 2009 and Sue’s in 2014, their family established memorial scholarships at Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Senior, and Pleasant Valley to honor their parents and the values important to them: positive attitudes, leadership skills, good character, and a strong work ethic.

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The Teens for Tomorrow youth philanthropy program has given local students the opportunity to grant more than $70,000 to the community since the program's inception in 2002.
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