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PEKIN ~ Haylee LouAnn Benassi, 23, of Pekin, passed away at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019 in Pekin.

She was born December 29, 1995 in Peoria to David G. and Janice L. (Whobrey) Benassi.

Surviving are her parents of Pekin; one sister, Amber (Avery) Rush of Peoria; one brother, Spencer Walker of Pekin; four nephews she adored, Avery Rush, Ari Rush, both of Peoria, Cameron Walker and Jackson Walker, both of Springfield; her aunts and uncles, JoAnn (Bobby Gilmore) Tribble, Jerry Whobrey, both of St. Petersburg, Florida, Darren Benassi and Brian (Kim) Benassi, both of Pekin; her paternal grandmother, Judy (John) Segler of Pekin and many cousins.

She was preceded in death by grandparents, Don Benassi, Betty & Earl Whobrey and her uncle, John Whobrey.

Haylee was a 2014 graduate of Pekin Community High School, where she was active in the Latin Club.  The highlight of her high school years was traveling with other Latin students and Mrs. Farley to Italy.  She was looking forward to returning to Italy again someday.  She went on to attend Illinois Central College and graduated with her C.N.A. certificate from Midwest Technical Institute in East Peoria.

Haylee had a special gift of caring for others as a C.N.A. and became emotionally attached to many of her patients.  She had plans and aspirations to further herself in the field of medicine.

She loved music, especially the Beatles and enjoyed dancing.  She had the ability to make people laugh, and loved being silly.  She enjoyed playing softball with the Pekin Lil’ Lettes and volleyball in earlier years.  She also learned to play the piano at a young age and continued to play.

Haylee’s mother was her best friend.  She also had found peace in knowing she had found a special someone. 

Her public visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2019 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Private family services will be held, with Pastor James C. McClarey officiating.  Cremation will be accorded following the services.

Haylee was fond of her cats, therefore her family has designated memorial contributions may be made to Tazewell Animal Protective Society, 100 Taps Lane, Pekin, Illinois 61554 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com