Hastings, Nebraska, resident Cindy Lee (Headley) Leach, age 69, passed away in Omaha Friday evening, January 3, 2020, six months after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.

Cindy was born on May 17, 1950, to Betty (Carpenter) and Wayne Headley in Hastings, Nebraska. Cindy graduated from Hastings Senior High School. She worked as a health care aide at Good Samaritan Village before moving on to her true passion: working with special needs children at Hastings Regional Center.

Cindy will be remembered as a sensitive yet resilient soul who overcame a series of physical and emotional challenges throughout her life, with nary a complaint. She was passionate about animal welfare, and instilled that passion in her children. Cindy rescued and provided a loving home to numerous pets through the years, including several cats, dogs, a calf and a rambunctious squirrel monkey named Josie.

She is survived by her son, Tony Leach of Hastings; daughter, Dr. Tiffany Leach of Chicago, Illinois; and daughter, Michelle Leach and her partner, Sean Bilodeau of Omaha, Nebraska.

Cindy was preceded by her parents and grandparents, Edwin and Bessie (Smiley) Carpenter, as well as a number of dear paternal and maternal aunts and uncles.

Memorial/graveside services at Gibbon Riverside Cemetery in Gibbon, Nebraska, will be announced at a later date. Family and friends may make memorial contributions to the Heartland Pet Connection in Hastings or to a farm/barnyard animal rescue organization, such as the Iowa Farm Sanctuary. Cindy’s life will be celebrated in an online memorial/guestbook available at Crosby Burket Swanson Golden Funeral Home in Omaha. Visit www.dignitymemorial.com.

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