Kayona Conley Obituary

Kayona  Conley
Kayona Conley
Kayona Conley

October 27, 1960 - July 17, 2021
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Kayona Conley, 60, passed away Saturday, July 17th, 2021, at her home in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kayona was born October 27, 1960, in Milwaukee,Wisconsin, to Harley and Joanne Schwartz.

Kayona worked as a CNA for Scottish Rite Park for the past 15 years. She was committed to her patients and did not view caring for them as a Job. Scottish Rite Park was her second home and the relationships with co workers and residents were the same as family.

Kayona is survived by her daughter, Marie Schwartz of Des Moines, IA; son, DJ Schwartz of MN; Ex husband, William Conley of Ottumwa, IA; grandchildren, Adriean Schwartz, Ramani Smith, Katie Schwartz of Des Moines, IA, Danika and Daniel Schwartz of MN; sisters, Deborah Chester and husband John, Marilyn Cox and her husband John; brothers, William Schwartz, Robbie Schwartz, Harley Schwartz, Jr.. She was preceded in death by her father, Harley Schwartz, brothers, James Schwartz, Thomas Schwartz; her platonic life partner and best friend Roberto Ramirez; as well as her Fur Baby, Jose Schwartz.

Awareness on behalf of my Mother:

Many friends and family were aware that my mom struggled with alcoholism . Self medicating her mental illness that she did not recognize nor had the capacity to understand because she was a strong independent woman whom the stigma behind mental illness is nothing she would allow herself to be a part of. I’m not calling her out or writing about this to be callous. I’m opening a locked door for Everyone who had loved her and whom were pushed out of her life due to the self medicating as it became her way of functioning therefore, her way of living. I feel cheated and have an absence that I cannot articulate with this loss. I’m writing this because I’m struggling with separating her from her addiction. It had led to her severe depression. There was nothing natural about her death. I felt this needs to be recognized upon her departure because it was left unsaid, unconfronted, and untreated in her life. She is, and was, as I will remember her a survivor, a fighter, and self made. Thank you Mom, for those qualities you have passed on to me. Your personal struggle has left a legacy of strength and compassion.




Funeral Home
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322