UTICA — Taryn Nicole Pakenham, 18, of Utica, passed away Sunday, June 10, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Private family-only services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, June 15, at Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota, with the Rev. Steven Breedlove officiating. Interment will be private at a later date. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at the funeral home.
Taryn was born Nov. 11, 1999, in Peru, to Dena (Walters) and Dan Pakenham.
She attended Mendota grade schools and Waltham Junior High, where she was a member of the basketball and volleyball teams. She also played travel softball and more recently women’s slow pitch softball. She was a 2018 graduate of La Salle-Peru High School, and was planning to attend Illinois Valley Community College in the fall to study criminal psychology.
Taryn was an employee in the dining room at Starved Rock Lodge. She loved her cat, Herbie, enjoyed traveling with her mom, spending time with family and friends and being Aunt TT to her special nephew, Eastyn. She was looking forward to the arrival of another nephew this summer. Taryn was a good friend to many.
Survivors include her mother and stepfather, Dena and Rodney Steele; her father and stepmother, Daniel and Jenny Pakenham; one brother, Dillan (Allison) Pakenham; a sister, Kailee Pakenham (William Longmire); stepsisters, Taylor Renner and Kalli Steele; a stepbrother, Joshua Steele; one nephew, Eastyn Pakenham; maternal grandparents, Roy and Diane Ayers; paternal grandparents, Terry and Mary Politsch; and stepgrandparents and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather, Fred Walters; and paternal grandfather, Daniel Pakenham.
Memorials can be made in Taryn’s memory to Illinois Valley Animal Rescue or Ashley’s Battle Buddies (Ashlee Watson medical fund).