OBITUARY: Kayla Abernathy

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Kayla Abernathy

Kayla Reneé Abernathy, 31, of Columbia, Tenn., passed away peacefully in her home on Friday, October 22, 2021.

Kayla was born in Columbia, Tenn. on September 27, 1990, the oldest of three children born to William David Abernathy and Bethany Cross Abernathy. She graduated from Columbia Central High School in 2008 and earned an Associate’s Degree in nursing from Columbia State. She worked as a registered nurse at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee and Williamson Medical Center, but her greatest achievement was her 4-year-old daughter, Lilah Kate Abernathy.

Kayla was a tie-dye wearing, music-loving, adventurous spirit, who lived each day to the fullest. She was a creative artist who loved animals, gardening, traveling, attending music festivals, riding in her jeep with the top off, hiking in nature, fishing, playing and coaching soccer, cooking, painting, and designing cheese boards. Kayla served as the binding force of her many friend groups and family. Then her “mini-me” came along, and Kayla’s large support group took to her immediately. And Kayla didn’t let being a single mother slow her down, managing to continue to be a supportive daughter, sister, and friend, and an amazing nurse, all while ensuring her daughter shared in her adventurous, beautiful life with the “village” Kayla had spent her life creating.

Kayla was survived by her daughter Lilah Kate Abernathy, parents William David Abernathy and Bethany Cross Abernathy, brothers William Brady Abernathy (Hannah Ledbetter), Drake Jordan Abernathy, grandmother Leah Abernathy, aunts and uncles Patsy Cross Smotherman, Wade (Rosemary) Cross and Lora Leigh (Steve) Lape, cousins Kris (Kelsey) Lape, Kacie (Joe) Steadman, Shelby Smotherman, Jonathan Smotherman, and Robbie Lape, great aunt Sarah Abernathy Bell, and a large extended family. She is also honored by her close friends Amber Crawford Hanes, Heather Lukonen Brown, Amanda Johnson, and Andrew Heideman. She is preceded in death by her grandparents Bill Abernathy, Jackie
Cross and Mary Ann Cross, uncle Gary Smotherman, and cousin Justin Cross.

Please join us in mourning the loss of and celebrating the life of Kayla on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at Williams Funeral Home in Columbia, Tenn. Visitation will be at 3:00 pm, followed by a service at 6:00 pm. All expressions of sympathy, including donations to Kayla’s Memorial Fund for her daughter Lilah Abernathy, are welcome.

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