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Katie M Soenksen


Katie was born May 20, 1987, in Davenport, a daughter of Ronald L. and Mary Ann (Lovejoy) Soenksen. Katie was united in marriage to Specialist Benjamin Rowella, U.S. Army, Fort Hood, Texas. She attended John F. Kennedy Catholic Elementary School in Davenport and graduated from Davenport North High School in 2005. While at North she participated in choir, softball and the ROTC Program. She enlisted in the Army immediately after graduation.

In a letter posted on a Department of Defense Web site, Katie Soenksen thanked Americans for supporting the troops and acknowledged the difficulty of leaving home.

“Being deployed is one of the hardest things to do, but being here makes me realize how good we have it in America. Even though being over here is hard I’m glad I’m over here. … Just seeing how some of them are living just hurts me inside. Wish I could do more for them but there’s only so much you can do without their help. I want to take this time to say Thank You for the support. The support is what keeps us going. When times get rough and I don’t know what to do, I just look in my email and there’s an email from friends and family saying how much they are proud of me. Every day I go into the chow hall and on the wall is a big American flag that elementary students made with paint and their hand prints. Just the little things are what keep us going. So again THANK YOU for the support that we need!”

PFC Katie Rowella (Soenksen)

Remembered as a beautiful young woman with a memorable smile, Katie is also remembered for her zest for life, her courageous embrace of serving a grateful nation in this war against terrorism. She was, after all, strong-willed and stubborn, willing to buck heads with anyone who stood in her way of doing what she needed to do.

Survivors include her husband, Benjamin; parents, Ron and Mary Ann Soenksen; a sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Eric Goodin; a brother, Matt Soenksen; nieces, Aria Goodin, Audrienna Soenksen and Braylee Gillespie; grandmother, Erma Stephens, Bettendorf; aunts, Maureen Bergom, Bettendorf, Vicky (Darrell) Peterson, Beverly (Russell) Babb, Connie Wight, and Lt. Colonel Rose USAF Ramirez and Manny Ramirez; uncles, Roger (Georgia) Lovejoy, Bettendorf, Frank (Debbie) Lovejoy, Davenport, Steve (Cindy) Lovejoy, Bettendorf, and Warren “Tony” (Sheila) Lovejoy, Davenport; as well as numerous loving cousins and friends.

Katie’s portrait is also located on Poster 5

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