Kera Unfried, Birmingham, AL passed away on July 24 after a courageous 10 month battle with cervical cancer. She was born on August 14, 1984 in Fort Walton Beach, FL, and graduated from Choctawhatchee High School in 2002. Kera was employed as a tax analyst at Encompass Health.
Kera was known for her quick wit, intelligence, compassion, and her never-ending drive and determination. Her joy and passion was spending time with her daughter, Delilah, continuously finding creative ways to encourage, teach, and entertain her. Since the time of Delilah’s Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) diagnosis, Kera tirelessly researched PWS, equipping herself to find the best ways to advocate for Delilah, including organizing several drives to raise funds for PWS research. She was a remarkable cook and enjoyed preparing meals for her family and friends, especially over the holidays. She loved to watch food tutorials and cooking channels during her spare time. She was an avid reader, and the Harry Potter book series was her all-time favorite. Incredibly gifted with the ability to learn anything that interested her, Kera mastered the arts of sewing, needle crafts, painting, and calligraphy. She loved the water and found her happy place at the beach. As a result of her being an accomplished self-taught photographer, Delilah and the rest of the family are left with the treasure of many images of their adventures together. Despite her hectic schedule, Kera pursued her degree in Business Management. Upon completion of a few remaining classes, she would have graduated this year from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Ironically, she loathed the hound’s-tooth pattern, was a dedicated sports and Auburn football fan, and enjoyed gathering with close friends to watch AU games.
Kera is survived by her daughter Delilah Grace Unfried, her Soul-mate and best friend Kevin Turner, Parents Daniel and Cindi Barrow, Sister Conni Perkins, Brother and Sister-in-law, Justin and Danielle Barrow, and Biological Father, Chris Mickelson. She is also survived by her Grandparents, Ferriest and Jane Richardson and Dewey and Lois Barrow, and her Nephews Carter, Logan, Wyatt, Blaine, and Cody, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins and “2nd Mom and Dad”, Janet and Jack Williamson. Kera was preceded in death by her Grandmother, Linda Richardson, Great-grandparents, Luther and Lorena Jenkins, and Pricilla Bowden.
A number of people made selfless, tireless efforts to assist with the care of both Kera and Delilah over the last several months, and the family would like to express our everlasting gratitude for the love and help. Specifically, thank you to Sandra and Jerry Montalbano, Brad and Jennifer Young, Mrs. Sharpe and the entire staff of Vestavia East Elementary School, the staff of Vestavia Hills School Extended Care, Kera’s friends and colleagues in the tax department at Encompass Health, and Sarah Eddington. We also thank the team of physicians lead by Dr. Michael Straughn and the team of nurses and caregivers of the 7th floor of UAB Women and Infants. Your care and compassion have been a tremendous comfort and are deeply appreciated.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 31, from 5:00-7:00 pm at Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview. A service celebrating Kera’s life will be held Wednesday, August 1st at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home, with graveside services immediately following the funeral on Wednesday at Beal Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach, FL.
Anyone wanting to express sympathy may make a donation in Kera’s name to the Prader-Willi Foundation by going to www.pwsausa.org/donate-today. Your filling in the “Honoree’s Email Primary” field with firstname.lastname@example.org will allow the PWS Association to notify the family of your donation. If preferred, flowers are also welcome.