PEORIA - Dr. Cheryl Lynn Imes, formerly of Peoria, a clinical psychologist at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif., died on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2013, at the Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind. The cause of death was organ failure brought on by hepatitis C. She was 59.
Born on Oct. 28, 1954, in Peoria, Ill., Dr. Imes graduated from Richwoods Community High School in 1972 and from the University of New Mexico in 1978. She received a master's degree in experimental psychology from Bradley University in Peoria in 1982 and a doctorate in psychology from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis in 1990.
In 2000, she became a clinical psychologist at College of the Desert, where she was tenured.
Dr. Imes had a lifelong passion for helping others, counseling victims of domestic violence, teens and others about drug and alcohol addiction, students suffering from depression, and patients with neuropsychological damage due to head injuries.
Dr. Imes served on the Advisory Board for Coachella Valley Sexual Assault Services and on the Desert Task Force of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
She was a loving owner of dogs over the course of her life and, at times, took them to comfort those who were ill or elderly and suffering.
Keenly intelligent and a beautiful writer, she began writing poetry and essays as a teenager and continued to do so throughout her life.
Dr. Imes' warm spirit remains with those who loved her deeply and survive her, including her parents, Vernon Imes of Wichita, Kan., and Shirley Miller of Palm Desert, Calif.; her sisters, Elizabeth Gordon of Sky Valley, Calif., and Linda Imes of New York City; her nieces, Nicole Westart, Breana Rogers, and Ella and Tess Wodin; and her brothers-in-law, Dave Gordon and Fredrick Wodin.
She is also survived by her longtime partner, Phillip Franklin, her close friend Robert Kronick, and her Papillions, Belle, Lexi and Jogi.
Dr. Imes' family is grateful to the Indiana University Hospital doctors, nurses, and staff, who gave her an extra year of life with a liver transplant in late 2012. They worked valiantly for her survival. Her family is also grateful to College of the Desert, which supported her throughout her ordeal, including battles with uterine and liver cancer.
A memorial service will be held in Palm Desert, Calif., in February of 2014. Donations in Dr. Imes' memory should be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Arrangements are by Indiana Funeral Care and Crematory, Indianapolis.
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