Kaylen Fae Leeds, 67, died on Friday, June 11, 2021, at the Stratford Care Center in Stratford, Iowa. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at the First Baptist Church in Stratford, Iowa. The family will be available to visit from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM with the service beginning at 11:00 AM. A luncheon will follow the service. The family has chosen Boman Funeral Home (www.bomanfh.com) to care for their needs.
Kaylen was born on July 18, 1953, in Washta, Iowa to LaVerne and Pauline (McCoy) Leeds. After graduating from Northeast Hamilton High School, she went on to attend Iowa State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education.
Kaylen started working at an early age in her parents’ grocery store alongside her nine siblings. This experience blossomed into a passion for food and working as a cook in multiple states. She even spent a year living in a tepee at a ranch in Colorado before returning to Iowa to work as an Early Child Consultant at the AEA. Once she felt called to ministry, Kaylen graduated from the Victory World Missions Training Center and went on to serve in nearly a dozen countries. In Guatemala, she supported local churches and led outreaches to squatters’ villages. In South Africa, only two years after the apartheid, she evangelized to the Umzali and proselytized many Africans. In Bulgaria, she diligently worked with disabled children and educated local ministries in their care. The mission field closest to her heart, however, was in Romania. She served as a missionary in Romania for five years where she started an orphanage for 24 babies, worked in gypsy camps, helped families with spiritual and material needs, and adopted her pride and joy, Faith.
While in Romania, her health began to decline and necessitated her return to the United States, but that did not mean her mission stopped. Kaylen tirelessly advocated for the “least of these” and poured her heart out for the disabled, homeless, and foster children. She was fluent in ASL and taught both domestically and abroad. Her passion for music led her to lead worship and compose songs.
Kaylen truly cared for others and was always turning strangers into friends. She’d never hesitate to ask, “How are you with Jesus?” She took every opportunity to tell the world about her Savior.
Kaylen’s family includes her daughter, Faith Leeds; siblings: Penny Woodard, Kenneth (Rose) Leeds, Kevin (Patti) Leeds, Keith (Mary) Leeds, Karla (Bruce) Caquelin, Kirk (Kim) Leeds, Kelly (Tom) Wilson, and Kyle (Diane) Leeds; sister-in-law, Nora (Dave) Mendyk; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Calvin Leeds.
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