Kimberly D. Kunkee, 44


Kimberly Dawn (Tadsen) Kunkee was called home on April 15, 2023, releasing her from the breast cancer that metastasized to the brain. She lived with cancer for nine years and it ultimately took her life, but it never took her sense of adventure and positive attitude.

Kim was born July 17, 1978, in Las Vegas, Nev., and grew up in Littleton, Colo. and Plattsmouth, Neb. Kim moved to Lincoln, Neb. in 2002, and met Matthew Kunkee, the love of her life, the following year. Kim and Matt were married on Oct. 10, 2004, in Lincoln, Neb., and moved to their acreage in Modale in 2009.

Kim received her registered nursing degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2013 and worked for Immanuel Hospital, the Nebraska Medical Center and Mutual of Omaha. Kim treasured the special and caring friendships she made through her nursing career.

Kim loved animals and in Modale she finally had the horses she always wanted. Riding Bo, Sassy, and Sam fulfilled the dream that started with her childhood collection of horse figurines. Living in Modale gave her so much joy as she cared for her horses, chickens, cats, and dogs and treasured the fellowship and friendship of small town life. Kim gave back to her community as a volunteer firefighter with the Modale Volunteer Fire Department for 11 years. Life in Modale brought Kim’s heart full-circle as she connected with the roots of her mother’s childhood hometown and the farming community of her grandparents, William and Ruth Coulthard.

Kim lived her life to its fullest and even on her hardest days, she brightened the world with her contagious smile and laughter. For as long as she could, she shared her love of music with her skill on a drum kit and expressed her perseverance and commitment to life in her growing collection of tattoos. In the final years of her life, Kim carried out her dreams of travel with Matt and her dogs by creating even more memories with family and friends in their camper adventures. The pain of losing her is eased by those memories.

Kim is survived by her beloved husband, Matthew Kunkee; her best friend and twin sister, Jamie Jesty (Jason Jesty) of Phoenix, Ariz.; her brother, Kevin Speirs and sister, Kathy Cummings, both of Las Vegas, Nev. She is preceded in death by her mother, Karen Coulthard Tadsen; and her father Steven Tadsen.

A celebration of Kim’s life will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the American Legion Hall, 102 E Palmer St, Modale. Everyone is welcome to attend this casual event and share their memories and stories of Kim. Food and drinks will be served after the service.

The family welcomes donations to Little Pink Houses of Hope ( to honor Kim’s breast cancer journey, or to the family for future designation.