Dr. Manasawee "Kathy" Kongtahworn Obituary

Dr. Manasawee
Kathy Kongtahworn
Dr. Manasawee "Kathy" Kongtahworn

March 25, 1941 - March 21, 2006
Born in Ayuthaya, Thailand
Resided in Clive, IA
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Dr. Manasawee "Kathy" (Kesamanee) Kongtahworn passed away at Mercy Hospice in Johnston on March 21, 2006, at the age of 64. She was born on March 25, 1941 in Ayuthaya, Thailand and was the fourth of nine children in a farming family. Kathy's parents died young and so she helped raise her younger siblings. She was an exceptional student and earned a scholarship to a prestigious preparatory school in Bangkok. Kathy eventually graduated in the top ten of her medical school class in 1965 from Chiang Mai University Medical School. She was one of only three female medical graduates in her class. During medical school she met her husband Chamnahn "Cham" Kongtahworn who was her classmate.

Following their dreams, Cham and Kathy came to the United States to continue their medical training. Kathy completed her residency in anesthesia while Cham completed his residency in cardiac surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, IA. They married in 1967 and started a family in Iowa City. Their daughter, Nan, was born in 1969, followed by their son, Nat, who was born in 1973. Kathy and Cham moved back to Thailand in 1974 after completing their training. They were both on the faculty at Chiang Mai University Medical School. Kathy and Cham's younger son, Nite, was born in 1974 in Chiang Mai.

In 1975, Kathy and Cham returned to the United States to enter private practice and they settled in West Des Moines, IA. Kathy joined Associated Anesthesiologists, P.C. at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and was one of two female anesthesiologists in the group at that time. Meanwhile, Cham began his surgical career with Cardiac Surgery Associates, P.C., a group that would later merge with Iowa Heart Center. Kathy was a very humble person and never sought the limelight. However, she was regarded as a pioneer by many younger physicians. After twenty successful years in practice, Kathy retired from medicine in 1996 at the age of 55.

Kathy had a lifelong love of learning and took up several new hobbies in her retirement. She enjoyed gardening, tennis, and traveling. Most of all, Kathy loved spending time with her family. She especially delighted in her three grandchildren. Kathy will be most remembered for her warm smile, her kindness, and her generosity.

Kathy's family includes her husband, Cham Kongtahworn of Clive; her daughter, Nan Jennisch, her husband Scott, and granddaughters Maddie and Amelia of Urbandale; her son, Nat Kongtahworn, his wife Molly, and grandson Aidan; and her son, Nite Kongtahworn, all of Chicago; her cousins in Chicago and Philadelphia; and her brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews in Thailand. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m., with a memorial service at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to John Stoddard Cancer Center and Mercy Hospice.





Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Saturday, March 25, 2006
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Saturday, March 25, 2006
6:00 PM


John Stoddard Cancer Center
1440 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50309