Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Former Southeast Regent dies

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Former Regent Kim Mothershead. Submitted photo

Former Southeast Missouri State University regent Kimberly Mothershead died from breast cancer last Monday. She was an alumna of Southeast and was involved in the university and other organizations in Cape Girardeau. She will be remembered by many as an optimistic, passionate person who was always smiling.

Mothershead served on Southeast's Board of Regents for six years and was vice president for two years. Southeast President Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins said Mothershead was on the board when Southeast went through several construction projects, including the River Campus.

"The construction of the River Campus was an important decision the department had to make," Dobbins said. "Kim was on the board that approved all these projects such as the Polytechnic Building, Vandiver Hall and establishing regional campuses in Sikeston, Kennett and Perryville."

Dobbins said Mothershead had a positive attitude about life, and he always saw her smiling.

"That is something everyone remembers, her smile. If there was a serious subject being discussed, she would make a light comment," Dobbins said. "She was also a very loyal alumna and wanted to make sure Southeast was first choice."

According to Dobbins, Mothershead also leaves a legacy through her four children, with whom she was very close.

"Her children are outstanding citizens," Dobbins said. "They're one of her legacies."

Mothershead was also involved in the Southeast Alumni Association and was the first honorary chair for the annual Walk for Women hosted by the athletic department. According to the Walk for Women's director and senior associate athletic director Cindy Gannon, the event recognizes and celebrates women's athletics and raises scholarship money for both men and women athletes.

"The first year we hosted this event was in 2008," Gannon said. "Kim graciously agreed to be the chair, and with all her hard work and inspiration we continued this event."

According to Gannon, Mothershead lived her life as if she would live forever, and everything she was involved in shined.

"Kim was always dreaming big," Gannon said. "She was passionate and enthusiastic about all of the work she did."

Mothershead worked with United Way's Read to Succeed program.

Nancy Jernigan, director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri, said Mothershead worked as a volunteer tutor even after her involvement became limited because of her illness.

"Her support was felt by everyone at United Way," Jernigan said. "She was a financial supporter of the United Way GRACES Women's Council at a leadership level and helped us with our inaugural New Year's Eve party event. She also encouraged other women to get involved with us, which is so important as we began this women's council."

According to Jernigan, Mothershead was the most genuine, sincere, kind and generous person she has ever known.

"Kim always had a smile on her face -- always. Her faith was strong throughout her illness, which speaks to her trust in God," Jernigan said. "I know that she was a loving mother to her four children and adored her grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by many."

Mothershead was 53. She is survived by two sons, Russ Mothershead and Clay Mothershead; two daughters, Kathryn Sprengel and Julie Mothershead; and a granddaughter, Amelia Mothershead.

"What I think people will miss most about Kim is no question -- her smile and warmth," Dobbins said.