Catherine Kidd Hannum

Honored by:Judy and Mick Von Bergen, Janet and Gordon Shoeman, Joan Hannum, James and Sandra Hannum
Brick location:G:14  map

Catherine Ida Kidd was born September 12, 1921, in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was the oldest of three daughters. Her parents were James Ernest Kidd and Anna Katherine Nelson Kidd. Her father worked for many years in the insurance industry, finally becoming president of Federated Insurance Company in Owatonna, Minnesota. Her mother was a full-time homemaker, though had been a schoolteacher prior to her marriage. Catherine (Kay) graduated from Owatonna High School and attended Carleton College for one year. She then transferred to Iowa State College and attended two more years, becoming a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. However, World War II interrupted her studies. She married a recent Iowa State grad, Thomas Edward Hannum, on March 28, 1942. Within six weeks of their wedding, Tom was sent overseas with the Army for 2 1/2 years.

Kay tried to return to school but policy at that time barred married students from living in university housing. Lonely in off-campus housing, she quit school and worked for several years as an airline hostess for Mid-Continent Airlines. When her husband returned from the war they lived in Lawton, Oklahoma; Owatonna, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; Ames, Iowa and Lincoln, Nebraska while Tom pursued work and finally graduate studies at Iowa State College and then the University of Nebraska. They returned to Iowa State in 1952 when Tom was hired as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, a position he kept until his retirement in 1989.

Kay and Tom had four children (James William Hannum, Judith Kay Von Bergen, Janet Ellen Shoeman, and Joan Elizabeth Hannum), three of whom are ISU graduates. She spent countless hours while her children were young as a Cub Scout den mother, a Campfire Girl leader, and a member of the Parent-Teachers Association. She is an avid reader and was finally asked to become a member of the Ames Library Board due to her frequent use of the library. She was an elder and choir member of the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Ames, a volunteer for Reach to Recovery, and served numerous civic organizations (Octagon Board, Questers, PEO president). She also remained very active in the Tri-Delt Sorority, serving as alumni advisor and twice as president of the Corporation Board.

Kay returned to work outside the home after her children were grown. She worked as a typist in the Psychology Department, sold cosmetics in a local drug store, and finally became an academic advisor in the office of the Dean of Sciences and Humanities. She tried to retire from this latter position three times and was entreated to return on each occasion! She finally succeeded in retiring the third time. Her husband died in 2010 after a brief illness and Kay died on November 28, 2011. In addition to her children she now has nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.

updated 10/11/2013