Taylor Brooke Hlebak

March 12, 1993 - May 13, 2022

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Taylor Brooke Hlebak passed away surrounded by the love and care of her family at home on May 13, 2022. She was born on March 12, 1993 in Kentucky. She was transferred to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where she lived for many months. She left the hospital, went to foster care, and then was placed for adoption. At 22 months, she was adopted by Larry and Kara Hlebak. Kara had been one of Taylor’s nurses in the NICU.

A beloved daughter, big sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, neighbor, and friend, Taylor lived her life encircled by her family, close friends, and supportive College Hill community. She was fiercely determined in every endeavor. Throughout her life she participated in the wheelchair games, wheelchair basketball, tennis, rowing, and cheerleading. Taylor played the piano and danced with the Miracle Dance Studio. She brought songs to life and audiences to their feet with her stunning combination of grace and athleticism. Years ago, thanks to Make a Wish Foundation, she was able to swim with dolphins. She enjoyed camping and vacationing with her family. She was a skilled and private poet. But her favorite place was North Hills Swim Club, where she helped prep the club for opening, conversed with members, played competitive card games, and cheered at swim meets. Despite being a frequent flyer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital her entire life, she was persistent and inspiring in her quest to live life to the fullest. She had a warrior heart and an ever-present smile.

Taylor was decidedly independent, a trait that sometimes drove her parents crazy. As a teenager, she had the best eye-roll-wheelchair-turn-move the world has ever seen. As an adult, her unique perspective and wisdom took root and flight. The way Taylor lived with her challenges was an expression of her power, honesty, humor, resilience, and generosity. No one knew anyone stronger or kinder. She had a gift of making others feel seen. She was the best encourager. Taylor was a light, a force for good, a testament to the depth of the human spirit. But most of all, she was loved.

She is survived by many friends and her grateful family including her parents: Kara and Larry Hlebak; brother: AJ Hlebak; sisters: Gabrielle and Amelia Hlebak; grandparents: Robert and Elaine Ludwig; aunts and uncles: Karen and Jim Bartell, Frank and Julie Hlebak, Lisa Janusik, Rob and Sue Ludwig, Larry and Jennie Ludwig; Hlebak Cousins: Amanda, Josh, Matt, Theresa, Cindy, Corey, Elizabeth, Austin, Jessica, Alexis, Joe, Molli, Jessica and Ryan, many second cousins; and Ludwig Cousins: Jake, Abby, Gunnar, Genevieve and Gemma. She is also survived by her dear lifelong friend, Abby White.

She was preceded in death by grandparents: Joe and Helen Hlebak; uncle: Joe Hlebak; uncle: Joe Janusik; and friend: Katie Boyle.

Visitation will be held at Hodapp Funeral Home, 6041 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224 on Wednesday May 18, 2022 from 4-7pm.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Clare Church, 1443 Cedar Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45224 on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 11am.

Please consider making a donation in Taylor’s name to Starshine Hospice and Palliative Care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center or to North Hills Swim Club, Taylor’s favorite place to be - PO Box 24149 Cincinnati, OH 45224`


Lee K. Wells - May 18, 2022
My heart and prayers go out to the Hlebak Family. I had the extreme pleasure and honor in working with Taylor at Gamble Montessori. She was and still is a most precious jewel that touched our lives in so many ways. She was fiercely determined, compassionate, giving soul. Her infectious smile and laughter would just melt your heart and encourage you to keep pressing on. Know that Taylor's Gamble Family will always be here for you and your family.
Madison Bartll - May 18, 2022
Taylor was so sweet and such an amazing cousin to me. I hope that she has found the peace that she deserves.
- May 18, 2022
Our hearts go out to everyone in the family. Taylor was an amazing and beautiful lady in all ways. She touched everyone's life with joy, including us. She had a beautiful smile that will be embedded in our minds forever. She was just as much blessed to have you all as a family as you were to have her be apart of yours. May God and his angels surround you during this time. Much love and hugs, Chuck & Leslie Coler
O’Brien family Jeff, Shannon, Riley, and Emma - May 18, 2022
In loving memory of Taylor Hlebak Who’s smile alone could lift one’s spirits and brighten one’s day. Our deepest sympathies as we remember Taylor and all she accomplished and shared with us.
Jim & Jean Sias - May 16, 2022
We only met Taylor twice and we loved her cheery personality. She will be missed by her family and everyone she knew and did activities with. She returned the love that was shown her.
Jim Bodmer - May 16, 2022
My sincere condolences go to the nicest neighbors a person could hope for. You are a special family and Taylor was a special person. I will miss her.
Mrs. Schwab - May 16, 2022
To the Hlebak and Ludwig families, I’m so sorry for your loss. Taylor was a sweet, positive, full-of-life and kind human. She was a pleasure to teach in 3rd grade and always had a smile for everyone. May God bless all of you during this difficult time.
The Witte Family - Hannah Olivia & Lisa - May 16, 2022
Our love to the Hlebak family - our lives are better and richer for being part of yours 💕
Carol Brinkman - May 16, 2022
My family will always remember Taylor with her beautiful smile and gentle soul. We are so grateful for getting to share good times with her and her special family.
Monica Borell - May 16, 2022
Kara, Larry and family- I'm so sorry for your loss. You raised a beautiful woman and gave Taylor the best life, which she enjoyed to the fullest. My heart goes out to all of you. Monica
Simmone Demas - May 16, 2022
Taylor will be missed and remembered for the warm hearted and delightful spirit you are. God speed.
Amy Schoultheis - May 16, 2022
I am so very sorry for your loss. I understand how difficult it is to lose a child. If any of you need someone to talk to please reach out. Your family will be in my heart and prayers.
Terry Owen - May 16, 2022
Kara, Larry and the entire Hlebak family, Tim and I are so sorry for your loss. Taylor brought so much joy to our life through her beautiful smiles, friendly greetings and perseverance in so many ways. She was a very special young woman who made the world a better place. Our prayers are with you. We will miss her dearly.
Sarah Boeres - May 16, 2022
Our family loves you like one of our own. Even Mitzi would run and jump in the car for your pets. Thank you for being a constant light in the world. Your smile was infectious and your kindness was nonstop. We will miss you dearly and working the North Hills bake sale table without you will be hard. Peace and love to our sunflower 🌻 !!
connie walder - May 15, 2022
Taylor was a wonderful loving individual and could not have become who she was without her wonderful loving and caring family. Taylor's smile and sense of humor will always be with you. Love you all and so sorry for your loss.