Dr. Jay T. Pronk, 31, of North Liberty, died Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City of complications from a transplant for treatment of leukemia.
Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 21, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Iowa City, with Rev. Tim Zimmermann officiating. Private graveside services were at Memorial Park Cemetery in Mason City. Visitation and a luncheon for those in attendance were held Monday at the church. Cataldo Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Jay Thomas Pronk was born March 19, 1978, in Mason City. He attended Garner-Hayfield Schools and graduated in 1997. During his junior year he was a Rotary Exchange student in Newcastle, England. Jay attended The University of Iowa for undergraduate studies and then graduated from the College of Dentistry in 2004. Jay continued his education with an internship at The UI College of Dentistry Oral Surgery Department, where he discovered his passion and gift for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He began a four-year oral surgery program at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wis. in 2005 until he became ill in 2006 with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Continued chemotherapy treatments made finishing residency difficult. Jay and his family relocated to North Liberty in 2008, where he served as assistant professor of oral surgery at The UI College of Dentistry. He had the honor of being selected the 2008-2009 Instructor of the Year by the class of 2010. Jay enjoyed his surgical and teaching responsibilities as well as the friendship of the many fine instructors and staff at the dental school. Jay was an accomplished classical and jazz pianist, saxophonist and also played electric bass. He enjoyed family fishing trips, pheasant hunting, cycling and cheering on the Hawkeyes. His greatest joy came from playing with his boys. On Dec. 29, 2001, Jay married the love of his life, Amy Kieschnick. Her love and support of Jay in times of both health and illness were an amazing source of strength for him and helped him fight the good fight and keep the faith. They became the proud parents of Aiden and Ethan on July 10, 2007. Jay was a loving father and adored his two sons. Jay was a kind man of great character, intelligence, and faith. He never once complained of anything he had to endure, but went through life with enthusiasm, drive, and a thankful heart. He was a strong man with an infectious smile and the very best sense of humor.
Those left to cherish Jay’s memory include his beloved wife, Amy and sons, Aiden and Ethan of North Liberty; his parents, Tom and Barb Pronk of Garner; sister, Kate Pronk of Chicago, Ill.; brother, Matthew Pronk and wife, Katie of North Liberty; maternal grandparents, John and Jean Merano of Springfield, Ill.; parents-in-law, Reverend Clyde and Ellen Kieschnick of Abilene, Texas; brothers-in-law, Brian Kieschnick and wife Sarah, and Darren Kieschnick of Abilene, Texas; and his uncles and aunts, cousins and nephews.
Jay was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Nick and Myrl Pronk. We thank the Lord for the precious time we had with Jay. Cataldo Funeral Home, (641) 923-2841 www.cataldofuneralhome.com .