Jill Ann DeBellis

Born March 16, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois
Departed March 19, 2024 in Melbourne Village, Florida

Jill was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She died on March 19, 2024 in Melbourne Village, Florida from a long-term illness. She was 71. Survived by her husband, Rick; sister-in-law’s, Carolyn, Marie, and Teri; brother-in-law’s, Mike and Joe; nieces, Amy, Sue, and Jen; nephews, Bob, Tom, Todd, Doug, and Jeff; all of their spouses along with many grandnieces and grandnephews, and preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Bob. She was truly loved.

Growing up her mother, Coreen, was a nurse with alternating day and night shifts. Her grandparents shared in the joy of watching her at home. They called her “Sunshine”. But I knew that before she told me. I saw it in her pool blue eyes and kind face when we first met. Of course it was “Sunshine”. She was subtle. When we walked together, she would lightly touch my shoulder and forearm nudging me gently to show her approval of something I said or did. It was her way of saying I love you.

Children would not be in our future, because Jesus had another plan. He bedeviled us with cats – caretakers of his innocent creators. Jill loved cats. I learned to love cats through her. We brought home over thirty cats during our fifty years together including a few dogs sprinkled in here and there. She was a great mother; fed them, hugged them, took them to the vet. She allowed me to change and clean the litter.

Jill loved making beaded bracelets and necklaces. She would spend countless hours at Michael’s and JoAnn’s picking and sorting through beads until she found just the right size and colors that fit her next idea. They were never her bracelets or necklaces. Well, maybe just a few. She loved to give them to family and friends. After my mother died, she made memorial bracelets for all the women in the family from a pearl necklace my mother fondly wore.

She told me the happiest day of her life was when we bought our house in Melbourne Village. I remember watching her from afar as we were shown the rooms by the realtor. Jill was busily writing in her notebook about each room and visualizing how it would look after we moved in. She said, “I want to live here forever”. She died in her house, peacefully – forever always comes too soon.

We’ve said our last good-byes before she returns to our Father. The irrevocable agreement he gave her many years ago is due. The love of my life must be given back to her rightful owner for safe keeping. But joyfully, I’ll see her again when my agreement comes due.

So now I must rest my pen for I hear grief at my doorstep. He is a transient and in time will be replaced by the fondest memories of my beloved wife, Jill.

Godspeed “Sunshine”

Guestbook Entry

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7 entries.
Sue, Mike, Bird and Sam from Oviedo wrote on March 31, 2024:
We were so lucky to grow up with a very close extended family—there was no shortage of love and laughter in our family gatherings. That closeness continued as the kids started having kids. I’m so grateful for the time we had with Aunt Jill. She was our artist, creating thoughtful bracelets and ornaments that were direct representations of her love for us and our love for each other. Many of her nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews have followed in her creative footsteps—everyone loves a trip to Michael’s! We miss her so much already. Her wit, her humor…I can still hear her giggle. I have such fond memories of sitting and talking or sitting and not talking—her warmth, generosity and kindness made everyone instantly comfortable, like a hug. I loved the banter between her and Uncle Rick—the sounds of “Yes, Dear” echo in my mind. I loved the spark in her eyes—full of joy with a hint of mischief (there’s that giggle again). I loved the feeling of absolute acceptance that she radiated—Aunt Jill was always on your side. Our family’s Sunshine kept us warm and safe with her love…and kept our bellies full with her amazing chocolate chip cookies. We will keep her with us always, forever grateful for her love.
Marie from Pompano Beach wrote on March 30, 2024:
I will remember sweet Jill for her sharp, quick wit and dry sense of humor. She always made me laugh. All the kids loved Aunt Jill, as she was always so thoughtful, kind and generous….so patient when teaching them her crafts. She had a genuine interest in all our lives and compassion in hard times, in spite of her own health issues. She never complained or had a bad word to say about others. She truly was a gentle soul & I’m lucky for having known her. She was loved & will be missed, especially by Rick, the love of her life!
Jen, Todd, and Bean from Orlando wrote on March 30, 2024:
We referred to Aunt Jill as Aunt Cool! 😎 We spent many hours together traveling back and forth to Coral Springs so she could have her mini vacations with Memaw and Uckey, and my dogs! She wasn't a very chatty person (which is understandable in our loud family) but she had this subtle quick wit that would get you belly laughing when you least expected it. She and Uncle Rick definitely kept each other on their toes!! Oh, and she made THE BEST most thoughtful family Christmas ornaments for us all each year. We love you and miss you Aunt Cool!!!
Connie Nagy from Coral Springs Fl. wrote on March 28, 2024:
I just heard the sad news. My condolences To you Rick. I know what you’ve been through And how you must be feeling and my heart and prayers are with you. I’m so glad I got to know Jill over the past years. She was such a sweet, Loving, thoughtful person. I always enjoyed her company. The tribute you gave your wife was so beautiful, just like the loving marriage you both enjoyed all these years. All we have now are Beautiful memories we will carry in our hearts forever. She will never really be gone, because Those memories will keep her alive forever! May the support of family & friends & their prayers help you through this sad time in your life. Take Care and God Bless
Carolyn McKnight from Leesburg wrote on March 27, 2024:
I'm so glad that Jill was a part of our family. She had an infectious sense of humor and was always ready to have fun. She knew I was a "trekkie" so she would give me star trek themed gifts - all the time! I treasure them all because she gave them to me to make me happy. She was also famous for her chocolate chip cookies, beautiful bracelets and Christmas gifts that she crafted. The memory of her goodness and generosity will always be with me. I'll miss her forever. Farewell sweet sister - until we meet again. Love, Carolyn .......and thanks for the love and happiness you gave my brother.
Jim Dacey & Sue Vaughan from Pompano Beach wrote on March 26, 2024:
A wonderful partnership, friendship and marriage. A life well lived and an example to strive for.....and made the best cupcakes. You both are in our thoughts and hearts Jim & Sue
Kevin & Tina Beck from Melbourne wrote on March 26, 2024:
We are prying for you and the family Rick.

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