It would be hard to imagine a woman who has played a more vital role in my life than my mother, Karen Mooty.
She is the one I turn to in times of need. My mother was there to encourage me during my childhood and is there for me now as I enter adulthood.
But one of the most attractive things about my mom is not what she's done for me and my family-which is immeasurable. It's what she's done for herself and for our community in the past 30 years.
Born Oct. 3, 1940, near Monroe, Iowa, Karen is the daughter of the late Earl and Ina Umble. She graduated from Albion High School in 1959 and moved to Des Moines, where she lived and worked for four years before marrying my father, Donald Mooty, in 1963.
In the next six years, she gave birth to my sister, Heather, and myself, and she spent the next ten years raising us and attending every PTA meeting within a five-mile radius. She received national and state PTA recognition for the Share-A-Book program and spent many long hours directing the placement of new playground equipment at Grant Wood Elementary School.
In 1979, my mother entered Kirkwood College, where she received an associate's degree two years later before moving on to Coe College, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration in 1983. She has worked in the Arts and Sciences Advising Center at Kirkwood since 1983, moving from advisor to coordinator in the first seven years.
If that wasn't enough, in 1990 my mother continued her full-time job while she commuted to and from Iowa State University until 1993, when she received a master of science degree in higher education.
During that time she remained on the Friends of Cedar Rapids Library Board, the Westminster Presbyterian Church Library Committee, and was on the Westminster Board of Deacons. And in the past year, she was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Kirkwood College.
Her accomplishments are many and well-earned. They have taught me that there is no limit – time, gender, or otherwise - to what one person can accomplish.
-Melinda (Mooty) Padarelli
Submitted on 8/1/94