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Obituaries are so much more than a public notice that a friend or loved one has passed away.

Kayla J. Waters

3/9/1979 - 5/18/2020

PEKIN ~ Kayla Joy Waters, 41, of Des Moines, Iowa, passed away at 3 a.m. Monday, May 18, 2020 at UnityPoint Health – Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. She was formerly of Pekin.

She was born March 9, 1979 in Peoria to Barry L. and Beverly R. (Johnson) Waters. Surviving are her parents of Pekin; two brothers, Kyle (Ginny Mies) Waters of San Bruno, California and Kellen (Lindsay) Waters of Deer Creek; seven nieces and nephews, Lane Waters, Kaitlyn Waters, Leah Waters, Gwenyth Waters, Quentin Waters, Boyce Waters and Lenna Waters; her maternal grandparents, Paul and Mary Johnson of South Holland. She also leaves a special friend, Kevin Miller of Des Moines.

She was preceded in death by one brother, Trace Lee Waters and her paternal grandparents, William and Faye Waters.

A 1997 graduate of Pekin Community High School, Kayla was a cheerleader, ran track and played volleyball and softball while in high school. In earlier years she excelled in gymnastics.

Kayla had an over the top love for children and education. She went on to graduate from Illinois State University with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. She had taught with Pekin Public Schools District 108 and also in Spring Bay at Riverview, where she also coached track. She last worked as a childcare worker in Des Moines.

She was also a fan and passionate about watching the Chicago Cubs.

Kayla committed her life to following the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Her private funeral will be held Thursday, May 21, 2020 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Pastor Jimmy Terrell will officiate. The service will be livestreamed on the Preston-Hanley Facebook page beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday. Burial will be in Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin.

Memorial contributions may be made to Peoria Rescue Ministries, P.O. Box 837, Peoria, IL 61652, Tazewell Animal Protective Society, 100 Taps Lane, Pekin, IL 61554 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Midwest Affiliate, 530 Northeast Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, IL 61637.

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