Joe & 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. McDonald 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. Joe volunteered in his community with the Boys Club, food kitchen, church, Masons, and the high school booster club. He enjoyed athletics and participated in high school track, men’s fast-pitch softball, bowling and was an avid golfer. He took great joy in watching his children and grandchildren participate in all of their various activities.

Sue Kaesbauer was the loving wife and mother who wanted the best for her children and anyone who knew her. Sue loved learning and was fearless in trying new things. She was a great motivator and mentor. If she was in charge of something, she would go above and beyond the expectations to make it great. These traits made her a great entrepreneur and she accomplished her dream of becoming a business owner. Four of her five children, Cathi, Patti, Bill and Mike have participated and carried out their mother’s dream of owning and running both businesses. Sue volunteered as a room mother, Girl Scout leader, several church committees, Dubuque Symphony, Sunshine at Finley Hospital, and PEO. She participated in basketball and was a state champion bowler but loved even more to challenge her own children and grandchildren and their teams with incentives to do their best and win.

Joe and Sue Kaesbauer enjoyed many visits to Pleasant Valley events and were very proud of their youngest daughter, Julie (Kaesbauer) Spelhaug (PVHS Math Teacher 1992-present), her husband, Jim (PVCSD Superintendent 1990-present), and four grandchildren, Lexi (2013), Ryan (2015), Ellie (2018) and Carli (2019). 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.

Criteria to Apply:

  • Be a graduating senior of PVHS
  • Applicants should have a positive attitude, display leadership skills, good character, and strong work ethic

Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • Describe How Your Positive Outlook On Life Has Helped You Overcome Difficult Situations In Life

Click here to Apply for a Scholarship


Past Scholarship Recipients

2021     Ani Pradeep
2020    Kayla Nutt
2019     Kara Neuhaus
2018     Camryn Hunter
2017     Cameron Trentz
2016     Kelli DeGeorge
2015     Jack Moss
2014     Madison Guenzler
2013     Anne Leners
2012     Sarah Rodriguez
2011      Avery Malmgren
2010     Abigail Sperry