Nature 19

Leah Dudczyk

September 16, 2002 ~ July 13, 2022 (age 19)




Leah Dudczyk September 16, 2002 – July 13, 2022

Celebration of Life Visitation for Leah will be held on Tuesday July 26th from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Maher Funeral Home, 17101 71st Avenue Tinley Park, Illinois 60477 (1 Block East of Harlem on 171st Street).

Friends and family are asked to meet Wednesday morning directly at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10731 West La Port Road, Mokena Illinois 60448, for visiting from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM and the Funeral Service 10:30 AM.

***In lieu of flowers, consider supporting the Dudczyk Family team in the annual NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walks Your Way event. Join the walk or donate to help us reach our team goal!

If you would like to contribute items for an outdoor memorial garden in Leah’s honor contact Kim (An English Garden). (708) 263-0879

Leah Marie Dudczyk, 19, of Mokena, Illinois passed away on July 13th, 2022, after a courageous and hard-fought battle with mental illness. Born September 16, 2002, in Palos Heights, Illinois. Beloved daughter of Michael and Gina (Centeno) Dudczyk. Loving sister of Nick, Jake, and Rachel Dudczyk. Best friend of her beloved dog Buddy. A cherished niece, granddaughter, cousin, and friend to so many.

Leah truly had a free spirit and so much love for the world around her. She was vibrant, compassionate, selfless, and spunky with such a loving and gracious spirit. Her goofy personality could always light up a room and she loved to take away the worries of others just by being herself. More than anything she wanted to make the world a better place in whatever little ways she could. Whether that be jumping out of the car at mom’s behest to give a hungry stranger a snack or the countless hours she spent taking care of animals at the local NAWS shelter, Leah supported others whenever she could no matter who they were.

Leah attended the Mokena 159 school district enrichment program up through 8th grade. She attended Lincoln Way Central High School as an honors student and completed a year of college at the University of Central Florida. During her childhood, she loved dance, was an excellent gymnast, and frequently competed at a high level in national tumbling competitions. She loved goofing around with her siblings. There’s no shortage of 10 second videos of Leah performing crazy dances or making funny voices. When the camera was pointed at her she turned into a star. Family was extremely important to Leah. She would go out of her way to learn about the interests of her parents, brothers, and sister in order to better connect with them and forge deeper bonds. Nights full of video games, days filled with fishing, the bachelor tv nights, hours of facetime girl talk. Even through her struggle, Leah still had the strength to make such deep connections with the people around her.

As she grew older, she embraced her creative side and discovered her love for music and art. She was a naturally skilled artist and would often draw to express herself. Leah adored animals and nature; she loved her dog Buddy with all her heart. To Leah, even an ant was worth saving. She considered herself a spiritualist with strong faith in God and loved to spend her time outdoors whenever she could. Leah was an avid musician who loved to play and write beautiful music, she would spend hours writing lyrics and creating songs. Playing her treasured ukulele surrounded by nature brought her so much peace and joy. One of her many dreams was to make the world a better place through her love of music.

It is impossible to prepare for losing someone you love so much at far too young of an age. To be writing these words feels surreal. Outside of our immediate family, no one knew the severity of the darkness Leah faced each and every day. In her own words she “was a master at hiding it”. As a teenager Leah became sick. Sick with an illness that tortured her mind. Sick with a disease that has become a social taboo. Mental illness is ruthless and unfair, but what’s equally unfair is how stigmatized the topic has become. Leah was seeking help, she attended therapy, took medication, and wanted so badly to live a healthy life.

Leah may no longer be with us physically, but her life is still going to change the world. Her dreams live on through her family and every life she’s touched during her much too short time on earth. If sharing her story helps even one person feel comfortable enough to talk about their own struggles then our beloved Leah’s death will not be in vain. We need to be kind to one another, reach out to friends, family members, and strangers, and not be afraid to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

Our family takes comfort knowing that Leah is at peace with our Savior in Heaven. Our guardian angel is now singing with the angels while she saves a seat for us at God’s table.


***In lieu of flowers, consider supporting the Dudczyk Family team in the annual NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walks Your Way event. Join the walk or donate to help us reach our team goal!

If you would like to contribute items for an outdoor memorial garden in Leah’s honor, contact Kim (An English Garden).

(708) 263-0879

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leah Dudczyk, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
July 26, 2022

3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Maher Funeral Home Tinley Park
17101 S. 71st Avenue
Tinley Park, IL 60477

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