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home : obituaries : obituaries May 31, 2020

4/28/2020 11:07:00 AM
Heather Vanessa (Phares) Mundhenke
December 14, 1979 - April 26, 2020
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Heather Vanessa (Phares) Mundhenke, 40 of Cantrall, Ill. formerly of Taylorville, Ill. passed away on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 11:03 a.m. at Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Ill.

She was born on December 14, 1979 in West Palm Beach, Fla. the daughter of John and Kim (Mansfield) Phares. She married Kevin Mundhenke on July 25, 2009 in Springfield, Ill.

Heather worked as an accountant for Zumbahlen, Eyth, Surratt, Foote & Flynn LTD. Heather was active in academia, graduating from both Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. and Larson Educational Services in Fort Meyers, Fla. Having many talents, Heather played for the varsity Softball and Basketball teams at Millikin, while earning a Bachelor’s Degree of Accounting and minoring in Dance & Theater.

It’s no doubt that her love for the arts led Heather to found and operate the Fredricks School of Fine Arts in Taylorville, Ill. Heather taught young girls’ gymnastics and tumbling while operating the school, and also held colorful recitals each year.

Music became a large part of Heather’s life when she took her passion for art to the rock stage. Heather found immense joy in entertaining crowds and made a name for herself through her onstage presence in the bands Whiskey Medicine and Jack Flash. Although never playing in a band before, Heather kept fans engaged with her wide vocal range and signature costume changes. She performed under the stage name “Billie Daniels” and was passionate about music and singing even up until her passing.

Heather enjoyed nature and more recently had a newfound love for gardening. She fully embraced “Country Livin’” and cherished living in her country home with Kevin and their farm cat, Queen Sheba. Under Heather’s direction, Sheba quickly became an indoor pet and beloved member of the family after appearing on their doorstep unannounced.

Heather will be greatly missed by many. She had an unforgettable personality which will leave a lasting mark on the lives she touched forever. For many she was an entertainer, a professional, a role model, a fighter, an artist, and a fierce friend. Most importantly, the life of Heather Mundhenke is an inspiration, a reminder to always live passionately for what and who you love.

She is survived by her husband: Kevin Mundhenke of Cantrall, Ill.; mother: Kim Phares of Taylorville, Ill.; brothers: Joe Phares of Taylorville, Ill. and Scott Phares of Michigan; children: Jonathan (Alana) Mundhenke of Chatham, Ill.; Tarah (Clinton) Kesinger of Springfield, Ill.; mother-in-law: Barbara Mundhenke of Cantrall, Ill.; brother-in-law: Jerome (Judy) Mundhenke of Sherman, Ill.; sister-in-law: Lisa Frank of Michigan; uncle Dwight Phares of Shelbyville, Ill.; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her father: John Phares, grandparents: Benjamin F. Mansfield and Janet Ryan, Orrin and Hester Phares, uncles: Benjamin E. Mansfield, John E. Mansfield and James Ryan, aunts: Ethel Fesser and Betty Boils and father-in-law: John Mundhenke.  

Due to the COVID-19 Private family services will be held at Sutton Memorial Home and graveside service will be in Grove City Cemetery in Grove City, Ill. Pastor Keith Masten will officiate the services.

Sutton Memorial Home in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Please sign their online guest book at

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