Alumnae remembered as a dedicated mother and student

Alumnae remembered as a dedicated mother and student

by Brittany FriesthNews Editor

Simpson alumnae Jessica Dawn Luedtke Deemer, who was killed Oct. 17, is remembered as a student determined to successfully balance her family and academics.

“She built her life around college, not college around her life” Gwen Schroder, director of transfer enrollment and international recruitment, said.

Schroder assisted Deemer, 24, with her admission and transition to Simpson as a transfer student. She remembers being impressed with Deemer as a devoted mother when she transferred to Simpson.

“She had a responsibility [her family] more important,” Schroder said. “Her maturity was beyond her years.”

Deemer graduated as salutatorian of Chariton High School in 2002. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Indian Hills Community College before transferring to Simpson in fall 2003. Deemer graduated Magma Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2005.

Professor of Management Mark Green served as Deemer’s adviser. Green recalls that after Deemer earned an average score on the first test in his International Marketing class, she had the highest score in the class on the second.

“After that first exam, she knew where the bar was set,” Green said. “She was a determined student, and it was very clear she took her academics seriously.”

Green also noted Deemer never used her family responsibilities as an excuse.

“As her adviser, I knew she had a family, but Jess never asked for special treatment,” Green said. “She always put forth her best effort, and that made a very favorable impression on me.”

Deemer’s obituary describes her as a genuine friend and natural decorator. Most of all, she loved being a mom to her six-year-old son, Ty Deemer.

According to her obituary, “She had a big heart and would sacrifice all for those she loved. Jessica was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.”

Deemer died north of Marshalltown, Iowa. According to an official press release issued by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call received at approximately 5:30 p.m. led officials to believe they were responding to a possible car accident.

Upon arriving on location, officials discovered two victims. According to the release, a preliminary investigation suggests the victims, Deemer and Bryce Lee Mercer, 24, were shot and killed on scene.

Witnesses described a suspect and said a silver pickup truck fled the scene.

The Eldora Police Department spotted the suspect, Kyle Gene Deemer, 27, and chased the vehicle to Hardin County. The pickup drove off the road, ending the chase, and the suspect then ran on foot into Hamilton County.

Later that evening, Deemer, Jessica Deemer’s estranged husband, was taken into custody by the Iowa State Patrol and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Jessica Deemer’s family has since asked to not be contacted by the media.

In memory of Deemer, the Ty Deemer Trust Fund has been established for her son. Memorials can be sent to the Great Western Bank c/o John Hamilton, 201 N. Main St., Chariton, Iowa 50049.