Dr. Kate Elizabeth Birkenkamp

Dates

April 30, 1984 - April 17, 2014

Obituary

Kate Elizabeth Birkenkamp was born April 30, 1984 to Dr. Ray and Kristin (Kelsey) Birkenkamp in Mitchell, SD.  She grew up in Mitchell and graduated with honors from Mitchell High School in 2002.  While in high school, she was a flutist with the Mitchell High School Band and was selected to participate in All State Band and All State Orchestra.  Kate was also a pianist for the Mitchell High School Show Choir.  Kate graduated with honors from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN in 2006 with a B.A. in English and Biology.  While a student at St. Olaf she had an opportunity to study in London and was selected to participate in a two week health mission in Chennai, India. Following college, Kate worked for one year as a research fellow in the Allergy and Infectious Disease Department at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, MD.  In 2007 she entered the University of Minnesota Medical School.   Following her second year of medical school, she spent one year in Baltimore, MD where she earned a Master’s degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.  She returned to the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis and graduated with her medical degree in 2012.  Kate was currently an Internal Medicine Resident at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, MN. During her first year as a resident she received a grant to spend a month in the Republic of Uganda, Africa, where she was involved in HIV research and furthered her interest in infectious disease and world health.
 
 Kate was a member of First Lutheran Church in Mitchell and held memberships in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, the JB Grant Internal Health Society, the Anna Baetjer Society for Public Health Practice and the American Medical Student Association.  She had received scholarships and was a recipient of the Wesley W. Spink Award for International Research. Her volunteer work included working with the homeless, the University of Minnesota’s free clinic, and the Baltimore City Health Department Needle Exchange Program. She enjoyed playing the flute and piano and also outdoor activities including cross-country skiing, hiking, birding, and astronomy with friends and family.

 She is survived by her parents of Mitchell, SD; her sister, Dena Birkenkamp and her fiancé, Alex Baldwin of Boston MA; her boyfriend, Amit Patel of St. Paul, MN; her paternal grandparents, Virginia and Arnold Birkenkamp of Arvada, CO; aunts; uncles; cousins and numerous friends.

 She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Helmar and Barbara Kelsey.  

 

A Memorial Fund has been established at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical

Education, Department of Internal Medicine in memory of Kate Birkenkamp.


Visitation(s)

Date
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Time
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location
First Lutheran Church
411 North Duff Street
Mitchell, South Dakota

Service

Date
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Time
10:30 AM
Location
First Lutheran Church
411 North Duff Street
Mitchell, South Dakota


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Posted by Joni Rasmussen on April 28, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Kate's passing. I knew her in high school and even then she was such a bright young person. Kate was the kind of woman that you looked at and knew instantly that she was going to impact lives. And she did! May God give you peace in this time of mourning, and may you have comfort knowing that she accomplished His mission for her and is now your angel.

Josh and Joni (Schoenfelder)Rasmussen
Posted by Aaron Barta on April 27, 2014
Ray, Kris, and Dena;

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Kate was the most sweetest, genuine and kind-hearted persons I knew throughout the years in school and confirmation classes at First Lutheran. I remember being very nervous about finding the perfect verse for our confirmation and she helped me find one of the most perfect verses for our confirmation requirement in front of the congregation. She always had a smile on her face and was everyone's friend in school. She will be truly missed. May you all find inner-strength during this difficult time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Aaron Barta on April 27, 2014
Ray, Kris, and Dena;

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Kate was the most sweetest, genuine and kind-hearted persons I knew throughout the years in school and confirmation classes at First Lutheran. I remember being very nervous about finding the perfect verse for our confirmation and she helped me find one of the most perfect verses for our confirmation requirement in front of the congregation. She always had a smile on her face and was everyone's friend in school. She will be truly missed. May you all find inner-strength during this difficult time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Aaron Barta on April 27, 2014
Ray, Kris, and Dena;

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Kate was the most sweetest, genuine and kind-hearted persons I knew throughout the years in school and confirmation classes at First Lutheran. I remember being very nervous about finding the perfect verse for our confirmation and she helped me find one of the most perfect verses for our confirmation requirement in front of the congregation. She always had a smile on her face and was everyone's friend in school. She will be truly missed. May you all find inner-strength during this difficult time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Susan Novak on April 25, 2014
To the Family of Dr. Kate E. Birkenkamp,
I'm so sorry about the death of your loved one. She was so young. I wanted to share the scriptural hope that gave me so much comfort when I lost my mother and I hoped it would you also. The Bible shows that God did not intend for humans to die. (Romans 5:12). It also calls death an enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:26). God has made arrangements to remove death forever. (Isaiah 25:8). God has also set a time when he will resurrect our loved ones who have already died. (John 5:28,29). In the meantime, he promises to give us the inner peace to cope with our loss. (Philippians 4:7). Please go to jw.org to find satisfying answers from the Bible. Sincerely, Susan Novak
Posted by Betty North on April 24, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, May God be with you in this sad time.
Posted by Pat Eyman Weiss on April 23, 2014
So very sorry for your loss...nothing more difficult. In my thoughts and prayers to your family.
Posted by Susan (Eskew) Schwandner on April 22, 2014
Ray, so sorry to hear about your daughter. Such a young age. You have everyone's condolences.
Posted by Janet Bainbridge on April 22, 2014
I'm so very saddened to hear of Kate's passing. My daughter Ashleigh Arens (Nolz) attended school with Dena . I remember both of your girls fondly! My youngest daughter Brittany Nolz passed10 years ago at 15. My heart breaks for you as you start this journey. God Bless your family
Posted by Terra Zahn on April 22, 2014
I wanted to pass my condolences to the Birkenkamp family. Although I did not know Kate personally, as a friend of Dena's we all looked up to Kate as such a beautifully brilliant woman. I can see by reading about her life since then, that still is very true. The world will truly miss such a sweet and kind person like Kate.
Posted by Bill & Paula Platz on April 22, 2014
We are so truly saddened by your great loss of a beautiful daughter and sister. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and may God be with you.
Posted by Chance Caffee on April 22, 2014
I was lucky enough to be Kate's date to our Senior Year prom and I think of that great day often. Kate was a wonderful soul and I am horribly saddened to learn of her passing. She will be missed greatly. My prayers and thoughts are with your family in this difficult time. Chance
Posted by Andrea Kelsey on April 22, 2014
I had the honor of calling this beautiful person my cousin. While distance separated us, I always knew what to expect when I saw Kate. She was constantly warm, compassionate and full of wisdom. I can only hope that I will amount to be half of the amazing woman she was!! Reading the list of everything she was able to accomplish is amazing. She will be greatly missed!! Uncle Ray, Aunt Kris and Dena, my heart is breaking! I am sad that I cannot be there to join and support you and honor Kate's memory! I love you all! Heaven gained a truely amazing angel!
Posted by Tatum Mahlen on April 22, 2014
So sorry to hear of Kate's passing. She was a talented and bright young woman and had a heart of gold. May God's peace and comfort surround you in this time.
Posted by Chris & Sandi Paustian on April 21, 2014
We are so sad and so sorry.
Posted by Patty Rincones on April 21, 2014
Kris & Ray- So sorry to hear about Kate!Sending prayers to you and the family! Jose and Patty
Posted by Chris Hall on April 21, 2014
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Tama Backlund on April 21, 2014
Kris & Ray - Dan and I want you to know that we are thinking of you and praying for you and your family.
Posted by Sunny (Backlund) Bellows on April 21, 2014
Kris, Ray, and Dena, I am so sad to learn of Kate's passing. I had many classes with Kate throughout high school, and in addition to being extremely bright, she was simply a delight to be around. Like many, I think the world of her; she will be dearly missed. Thinking of the three of you, your extended family, and her boyfriend during this time.
Posted by Grace Swenson-Murphy on April 21, 2014
I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers
Posted by Darwin & Cheryl Miiller on April 21, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time. May it be a comfort to know that others are thinking of you all and praying your faith will sustain you and give you comfort.
Posted by Nancy Theeler on April 21, 2014
Just to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with your wonderful family.
Posted by Kathy Luetjen on April 21, 2014
I am so sorry to hear about Kate, you will all be in my prayers. I'm so sorry, may God give you the strength to get through this.
Posted by Julie Geyerman on April 21, 2014
So very sorry to hear the news. You raised beautiful girls. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Posted by Anne Moke on April 21, 2014
So sorry for your loss-can't even imagine the loss of a daughter. Our prayers are with you.
Posted by Matthew Paulson on April 21, 2014
Sorry to hear about Kate. Praying for your family.
Posted by Dan and Diane DesLauriers on April 21, 2014
Please know we are thinking of you - very sorry to hear about your loss.
Posted by Donna Lang on April 21, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter. You have my prayers and may you find comfort during this time of sadness.
Posted by Tom & Sherri Patzer on April 21, 2014
We are in total shock and disbelief to hear about Kate! What an amazing young lady she was. She had so much to give the world. We are so very sorry and send our love and prayers to the family. May God give you strength and keep you in the palm of His hand. Tom & Sherri Patzer
Posted by Brian and Susan Tjarks on April 21, 2014
We are stunned and so deeply saddened to hear this horrible news!!! Kate was such a lovely person and will be missed by all who knew and loved her!! Our hearts are heavy with yours! We will have you all in our prayers and ask that you find comfort in the beautiful life she lived. All our love, Brian and Susan
Posted by Lynn Metcalf on April 21, 2014
So sorry for your loss. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
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