Obituary and Condolences

Sarah Kathleen Riesz

February 13, 1972 May 12, 2019
Sarah Kathleen Riesz
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Obituary for Sarah Kathleen Riesz

Sarah Kathleen Riesz died on May 12, 2019 at home in Iowa City from metastatic ovarian cancer. A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church at
1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Iowa City. Cremains will be interred at Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY.

Sarah, born on February 13, 1972, the daughter of Elizabeth D. and Peter C. Riesz, was a life long resident of Iowa City. In 1993, she graduated from the Special Education Program at West High School. She worked part time at Target (1998-2017) and at MidwestOne Bank (1993-2018) through supported employment by Rural Employment Alternatives and Employment Systems. Sarah competed in Special Olympics swimming and bowling, and belonged to a local fitness club. Her supported living residence, supervised by Reach for Your Potential provided stability and pleasure. She enjoyed Frisbee, ping pong, playing checkers and UNO and working puzzles. Sarah’s passion for music was expressed through participation in Sound Reach Choir sponsored by West Music, keyboard practice, and by listening to her collection of record albums and CDs. She especially benefitted from the music ministry of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, particularly the organ.

Sarah’s life spanned the period during which services for individuals with disabilities were evolving nationally and locally. Her accomplishments are due to the teachers, speech therapists and vocational coaches in the Iowa City Community School District and Grant Wood AEA, to job coaches in Rural Employment Alternatives, the therapists at West Music, the coaches in Special Olympics and her employers. Iowa City’s excellent educational, recreational and medical programs, as well as Johnson County’s support services, enabled her full engagement in the community.

Sarah’s mother published a book entitled First Years of a Down Syndrome Child in 1978 which was translated into Japanese with updates as Sarah Has Down Syndrome in 1992. She also authored a cookbook based on recipes developed for Sarah entitled Let’s Cook! in 2010.

Sarah is survived by her father, Peter C. Riesz, of Iowa City; an uncle, W. Bruce Dunkman. M.D, and his wife Karen of Philadelphia, PA; an aunt, Margaret Riesz of Springfield, VA; cousins, W. Jonathan Dunkman, M.D. and his wife Samantha S. Schilling, M.D. of Chapel Hill, NC, Andrew A. Dunkman, M.D. of Rochester, NY and Charles E. Riesz and his wife Penny of Ellicott City, MD. She was pre-deceased by her mother, who died in January 2019.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church or Reach for Your Potential, both of Iowa City.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Sarah Kathleen Riesz, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





1:30 PM 6/1/2019 1:30:00 PM
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

140 Gathering Place Lane
Iowa City, IA 52246

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
140 Gathering Place Lane Iowa City 52246 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Third Presbyterian Church Final Resting Place

4 Meigs Street
Rochester, NY 14607

4 Meigs Street Rochester 14607 NY
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

140 Gathering Place Lane
Iowa City, IA 52246

Reach for Your Potential

1705 S. 1st Avenue, Suite I
Iowa City, IA 52240

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