Jill Denise Wright 1959-2021
Last updated 11/16/2021 at 2:22pm
Jill Denise Wright of Lynnwood, a feisty and caring daughter, sister, and friend, has gone home and is now with the Lord. She had a gentle and loving soul, and touched the lives of many.
She died on July 13, 2021, from ovarian cancer at the age of 62.
Jill was born on May 12, 1959, in Salem, Ore., the last of Jan and Loel Wright's three children. She grew up in Keizer, Ore., and Spokane, Wash., graduating from Shadle Park High School in Spokane in 1977.
Jill was an excellent and vivacious student and student leader. She played on her high school softball team and was among the first girls to play varsity basketball at Shadle. She loved playing tennis with her friends, and cherished several summers at the Camp Fire Girls' Camp Sweyolaken on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.
Jill's call to be of help to others led her to acquire her bachelor’s degree in social welfare at the University of Washington in 1981. She spent one summer of Christian outreach working alongside impoverished farm workers in Mississippi.
Jill built a career advocating for patients at several Seattle area institutions, including International Community Health Services, Seattle Children's Hospital, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Community Health Plan of Washington, and Northwest Hospital.
She was rightly proud of her credentials as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety and Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.
Outside of work, Jill loved to travel and camp. She especially loved visiting national parks, and made a long-awaited return trip to Yellowstone in the month prior to her death.
She was devoted to her dog, a Shih Tzu named Pepper, for 16 years.
Jill had a life-changing event on March 18, 2016, when she survived a serious stroke. She lost some mobility and ability to form sentences, but she never lost her determination to improve or her zest for life.
Her mantras were "Never Give Up!" and "Two Thumbs Up!" She was able to resume some driving, and even stepped up for volunteer work at Sno-Isle Libraries, Calvary Church in Edmonds, and elsewhere. She discovered a wonderful support group, Aphasia Recovery Connection, and even went on a Caribbean cruise with other travelers with aphasia.
Her passions included the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm, UW Huskies, "Survivor," "Jeopardy!" with Alex Trebek, and Starbucks coffee ("salted caramel mocha, no whip").
Jill's survivors include her devoted life companion, Jo-Anne Vandermerwe; her brothers, Jeff and Greg; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
At Jill's request, a small graveside service will be held at Zena Cemetery in west Salem, where she will be laid to rest next to her mother and father.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Aphasia Recovery Connection, the U.S. National Park Service, or the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Beck's Funeral Home in Edmonds in charge of arrangements.