June 1, 1979 - May 16, 2013
Miss Karye Jayne Willard, 33, of Quincy, died at 11:30 a.m. Thursday (May 16, 2013) in her home. Born June 1, 1979, in Columbia, Mo., Karye was a daughter of Bruce and Marla Hardee Willard.
Karye spent most of her early life in Kenai, Alaska. Her family moved to Quincy in 1994, and Karye graduated from Quincy High School in 1997. She graduated in 2003 from the University of Illinois with a BS in biomedical engineering.
At age 12, Karye was diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia. She battled numerous health complications throughout her life and was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. She faced the many challenges that came her way with strength, courage and faith beyond her years. Karye's smile could brighten even the darkest of days, and is truly missed by those who love her.
Karye had great compassion for people, especially children with disabilities and special needs. In the past, she served on the board of directors for the West Central Illinois Center for Independent Living. Even though her health did not allow her to actively work in her field, she continued to educate herself on current findings and research projects related to biomedical engineering.