Jill was born and raised in New Jersey. She loved children and frequently babysat as a teenager. Jill played the bugle in a drum and bugle corp during high school and also loved to dance. She attended beautician school after graduation from high school and worked as a hair stylist at a beauty salon for several years. She and her husband Kurt started dating in their teenage years and were next door neighbors and high school sweethearts. Jill frequently babysat Kurt's younger brothers and sister. Jill's parents came from large families, 10 children each, so Jill and Kurt were frequently at her family gatherings. Jill and Kurt were married after he graduated from engineering school. To this union was born one daughter, Shannon, and two sons, Justin and Corey. Jill and family briefly lived in Arizona, Kansas, Texas, and New York. Jill moved to Idaho Falls with her husband and daughter when she and her husband were first starting a family. She gave birth to sons Justin and Corey at Riverview Hospital in Idaho Falls. The family were active members of First Lutheran Church in Idaho Falls where Jill taught Sunday school while their children were growing up. Jill worked for School District 91 as Director and Instructor of the Early Childhood Professions Program for 25 years. She was a strong supporter and advocate for the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) that helps teen parents and prepares students for careers in early childhood professions. After retiring from the school district she started her own child care program and facility, Lil Red Schoolhouse in Idaho Falls. Jill believed in a culture of the highest quality of education and care for children, and has been looked up to by her colleagues and fellow directors in the profession. She had an incredible love and passion for the very best development standards for the children under her care. Jill had taken numerous courses at several colleges and earned multiple certificates and credentials including an Early Childhood Education certificate from Idaho State University, a National Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), and Competent Child Care Administrator certificate. Jill loved to travel around the country and camp out with the family in their trailer and family tent. While driving their truck and pulling the trailer she loved to play and sing country music. One six week extended family vacation pulling the trailer with the truck and traveling through the west, mid west and eastern states was filled with singing and playing lots of country music. While the children were growing up, the family frequently camped in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and other parts of Idaho during the summer months. She loved decorating the home for the holidays and having the family close at hand. The house cold storage room ended up being storage mostly for holiday decorations rather than food. And her grandchildren were the center of her world. There was no better joy to her than hearing about and being a part of their adventures. Mimi's (grandma Jill's) house was always full of fun crafts, crazy painting, and good food. Wife...Mom...Grandma...You truly are our Sunshine. Our world is a better place because of your love.
Jill is survived by her husband, Kurt; daughter, Shannon; sons, Justin and Corey; grandchildren, Darian, Drake, and Beau; sister, Donna; and brother, Jeff. Jill is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Helen. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. A memorial service will be held for Jill on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 11 AM at Buck Miller Hann Funeral home in Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends from 10 AM to 11 AM prior to services. Funeral arrangements were made under the direction of Buck Miller Hann Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.buckmillerhann.com.
Jill Derr, a long time resident of Idaho Falls, passed away at home on October 9, 2018 of metastatic breast cancer.
Tuesday, October 16th, 2018