PEORIA - Tara L. Simantel Parla, 37, of Fort Myers, Fla., formerly of Peoria, passed away Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, surrounded by her loving family.
Tara was born May 4, 1975, in Naperville, Ill., the daughter of Jim and Lin Bailey Simantel. She married Jonathan "Jon" Parla on Sept. 8, 2001, on Captivia Island, Fla.
Tara graduated from Richwoods High School, attended Western Illinois University, where she was a member of Delta Zeta, and graduated from the University of Illinois.
Tara was a devoted and loving wife, mother, daughter and sister.
After being diagnosed with metastasis melanoma, she and her husband established the Passion Foundation to fight against this disease through education and prevention. They raise money to purchase and install sun shades over grade school playgrounds across Southwest Florida.
Tara was also employed full time in the sales and marketing industry.
Tara was a member of various organizations and received various awards. Her latest achievement was selection as a 2012 winner of the "40 Under 40" Rising Stars in Southwest Florida, where she will be honored on Sept. 16.
After being diagnosed, Tara fully believed, "Be Open to Life."
Tara is survived by her loving husband, Jon; daughter, Kendyl (7); son, Kaden (4); her parents, Jim and Lin; her sister and best friend, Dana Simantel; and her nephew, Braxton.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Summit Church in Fort Myers, Fla. An announcement of an additional memorial service in Peoria will be made at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the Passion-Foundation or the children's education in care of CNL Bank. Donations should be sent to CNL, 7996 Mediterranean Place, Estero, FL 33928.
For online condolences, visit fullerfuneralhome.com.