In Memory of Michelle Lynn Hathaway

January 5th, 2024 marks a day of immeasurable loss as we bid farewell to our beloved Michelle Lynn Hathaway as she passed from cardiac arrest. With heavy hearts, we announce her peaceful passing surrounded by her loved ones. Though her departure leaves an indescribable void in our lives, we find solace in the profound impact she made during her time with us. Born on June 10th, 1967, Michelle was a remarkable soul who lived a life brimming with compassion, grace, and a relentless pursuit of happiness. She was a beacon of light, radiating warmth and love to all who had the privilege of knowing her. Michelle had an infectious laugh that could brighten the darkest of days, and her smile melted away troubles with ease. 

Having graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelors in Education and Masters in Education at Drake University, Michelle dedicated her life to education and serving others as an alternative school educator for elementary-middle school children that needed customized care and extra attention for their unique learning styles. Her career as an educator allowed her to touch countless lives as she offered education, support and guidance to her students. Dedicating 34 years to the Des Moines Public School District, her passion for setting her youth up to be successful members of society was unmatched. Her loyalty, empathy, integrity, and determination made her an invaluable resource to her students and school district. Michelle’s unwavering commitment to helping youth adapt and grow into the human beings they were meant to be will forever be etched in the hearts of those she touched. 

Family meant the world to Michelle, and she cherished every moment spent with her loved ones. She was a devoted wife to John Sammuel Hathaway for 34 years as well as a devoted mother, daughter, sister, and friend, always going above and beyond to ensure the happiness and well-being of those she held dear. Her selflessness knew no bounds, and her unwavering support served as a pillar of strength for her loved ones. 

Outside of her professional endeavors, Michelle had a deep love for the great outdoors and spending time with those she loved. She found solace in gardening and her green thumb was apparent through her thriving floral landscape at her home in Des Moines, Iowa. She enjoyed camping and long bike rides with her husband and friends and frequenting an array of Iowa State games with other fans, rooting for the Cyclones in excitement. When she was young, her father Clark took Michelle and her sister Kristen on fishing trips during the summers of their childhood. Her adventurous spirit and up-for-anything attitude were contagious, inspiring all who knew her to embrace every moment and to make the most of what life has to offer. 

A celebration of Michelle’s extraordinary life will be held on June 8th, 2024, at the Luther Memorial Church, where the community will gather to honor her memory. During this time, we will undoubtedly share stories, laughter, and tears as we pay tribute to a precious life well-lived. 

Michelle Lynn Hathaway will be deeply missed by her husband John Samuel Hathaway; her daughters Anna and Jessica Hathaway; her mother, Donna Simmer; her step-mother Joyce Williams; her siblings, Jeffery Wetter and Sarah Patton; her uncle Dan Jespersen and family; and a host of extended family members and friends who were fortunate enough to have shared in her journey. She is preceded in death by her father Clark Williams, step-father Steven Wetter, and sister Kristin Williams.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hathaway family at: For more details on Michelle’s Celebration of Life Ceremony services, location, and times, contact Sam Hathaway at [email protected] or (515) 401-7959

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