Jill was born in Murphysboro, IL, and was active in her Catholic faith. She was educated at St. Andrew School, Murphysboro High School, and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in both English and Psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After completing her studies, Jill was employed as an educator for more than 30 years in Business at both East High School and Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, IL.
Jill was active in many organizations, including St. Peter’s Cathedral, the University Women’s Club, and PEO HR chapter. She was an avid card player, belonged to numerous bridge clubs, and participated in book clubs and Bible studies. Jill embraced new opportunities to expand her social network and was always ready for an adventure. Her positive spirit, optimistic outlook, quick wit, and bright smile were contagious. She treasured time spent with family creating memories.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Jack R. Heller; parents, John T. and Elizabeth R. Blankinship; niece, Suzanne Miller; and brother-in-law, Monty Miller.
Jill was a devoted mother to Jack (Malea) Heller and Beth (Craig) Ball;
loving grandmother of Jack, Lucy, Molly, and Libby Heller, and Alivia Ball;
dear sister of Cynthia Katsafanas and Jack (Sherri) Blankinship;
dear sister-in-law of Betty Miller;
beloved aunt, cousin, and friend to many.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to the American Diabetes Association. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, February 24, 2020, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at The Esquiline, 726 Community Drive, the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.