Monica M. Piersall

Monica M. Piersall

Monica M. Piersall

Cedar Rapids

Monica M. Piersall of Cedar Rapids, Iowa passed away on Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Mayo Clinic, St. Mary’s Campus, Rochester, Minnesota. Monica passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family. A funeral mass will be held at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at 10 a.m., with Fr. Chris Podhajsky officiating. A luncheon will follow at the St. Wenceslaus Glovik Center.

Monica was born on November 4, 1950, in Manchester, Iowa to Joseph and Mae Brunkhorst. She was the youngest of seven children and grew up on the family farm near Lamont, Iowa. She graduated from Starmont High School in 1968 and then continued her education at Upper Iowa University and the University of Iowa School of Nursing. She graduated from the School of Nursing in 1972, received her B.S.N., and then became a registered nurse.

On September 29, 1971, Monica met James Piersall (Jim), a student at the Iowa College of Law, at Joe’s Place in Iowa City. She gave Jim her phone number, which he promptly lost. Fate put them back together a short time later and they began dating. Monica accepted Jim’s proposal of marriage on April 3, 1972, and they were married on August 5, 1972, in Lamont, Iowa.

Monica began her nursing career working for the Cedar Rapids and Linn County Public Health Agency as a visiting nurse. She continued her career as a school nurse for the Cedar Rapids School District working at Washington High School, Roosevelt Middle School, and many elementary schools. During her 30 plus year career as a school nurse, she affected the lives of many children. She made sure that kids in her care had shoes without holes, warm boots and coats in the winter, and always had someone to listen. She had many health issues throughout her life, surviving stage 4 colon cancer for 40 years, liver cancer, thyroid cancer, and kidney cancer. After retirement, she devoted her time to caring for her children, grandchildren, and anyone else who needed help. She was a voracious reader who enjoyed gardening and sweet treats. Monica loved spending time with her husband and extended family. She was a long-time member of St. Wenceslaus Church and St. Monica’s Circle. Monica belonged to PEO, a long-standing book club, and retired nurses’ groups.

Monica and Jim were blessed with three children, Matthew (Janey Jill) Piersall of Cedar Rapids, Valerie (Michael) Herring of Golden Valley, Minnesota, John (Honor) Piersall of New York, New York, and seven grandchildren, including Mattie and Elaine Piersall (Cedar Rapids) and Ainsley and Claudia Herring (Golden Valley). Monica instilled in her children a love of learning and caring for others. She was proud of the fact that all three of her children attended law school and became lawyers.

Monica is survived by her husband of 52 years, Jim, children, and grandchildren. Sisters Patricia Maas (Joe Creen) of Cedar Rapids and Marlene Goetschel of McHenry, Illinois. Brothers Dr. Joe (Ann) Brunkhorst of Iowa Falls, Iowa and Phillip (Ann) Brunkhorst of Masonville, Iowa. Sister-in-law Edna Brunkhorst of Waverly, Iowa, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.

She is preceded in death by her parents, brother Dr. John Brunkhorst, sister Mary Jo McFadden, her mother-in-law and father-in-law Laura and Dale Piersall, her sister-in-law Barbara Piersall, brothers-in-law Don Maas, John McFadden, and Dr. John Goetschel, and her special nieces and nephews Pam Morales, Thomas McFadden, Chris Goetschel, Patty Kay Hertog, Geoff Brunkhorst, Patricia Brockman, and Jennifer Brunkhorst.

Her family and friends will miss her forever. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to the Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota or the Mercy Medical Center Foundation of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Condolences may be expressed online at under obituaries.

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