PEKIN - Rachel Duffield Heiple, 46, of Stevensville, Mich., formerly of Pekin, passed away Thursday morning, July 3, 2014, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mich., from lung complications following a two and a half year struggle with breast cancer.
Rachel was born in Peoria, Ill., on March 17, 1968, the daughter of James D. Heiple and Virginia Duffield Kerswill Heiple. She grew up in nearby Pekin, Ill., and learned to play the violin, viola and piano at an early age, which musical interests she pursued throughout her school years.
Rachel graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis in 1990, where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She later obtained a degree in education from Illinois State University and a master's degree in library science from Indiana University.
Rachel worked as a teacher and librarian near Kankakee, Ill., and then in the St. Joseph, Mich., area, where she had made her home for the past 15 years.
She was a devout Christian and a member of the DAR and the Daughters of the War of 1812.
Rachel had many friends who she will leave behind in Michigan.
Rachel is survived by her father, James Heiple of Peoria Heights, Ill.; and her two older brothers, Jeremy Heiple of Pekin, Ill., and Jonathan Heiple of Peoria, Ill.
Rachel was preceded in death by her grandparents and her mother, who died in 1995.
A memorial service was held at Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home in St. Joseph, Mich., on Wednesday, July 9. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. today, July 12, 2014, in the family plot at Glendale Cemetery in Washington, Ill., for anyone to attend.
Those wishing to share a memory of Rachel online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Cumerford-Hurd Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.