Jill Frances Beree was born on November 9, 1955, in Menominee, Michigan. She lived an amazing life and passed away unexpectedly on October 3, 2021, in Missoula, Montana, at St. Patrick Hospital with her husband Russ and daughters at her side.
Jillie, Mom, Grandma Jill, Jilly Bean, Jill the Pill and Jillzie were some of the names she was adoringly called by those who knew and loved her the most! She will always be remembered for her strong devotion and love for her family, her generosity, care, and consideration to others, and her fun, spunky personality.
Growing up, she had a special bond with her parents, Victor and Bernice “Moe” Heider, and her brother Jeff. She spent her youth gathering with close cousins and family, playing cards, having picnics, and exploring the parks and lakes in Upper Michigan and Wisconsin. She was an active and energetic child, enjoyed sports and was even captain of the safety patrol. She was also especially interested in observing the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, which became a special symbol for her. She was a flag spinner in the color guard of her high school marching band and graduated from Menominee High School in 1974. She went on to graduate from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in 1978.
After college, Jill sought out a new adventure and made the move to Missoula to join her brother and sister-in-law living here. Once she made it to the mountains of Montana, she loved them so much that she stayed for good! Here she met Pat Gould, they married and had two beautiful daughters, Megan and Dana. Jill and Pat later divorced.
Exercise and fitness, especially aerobics, became a fulfilling activity for Jill. She started as an instructor and then achieved personal training certification. She began working at The Women’s Club and developed close relationships with coworkers and members over the years. Eventually, she opened her own personal training and pilates studio in her home, JB’s Fitness, where her clients became great friends.
Life began another wonderful chapter for Jill when she met Russ Beree through a mutual friend. They married on September 27, 2003, and recently celebrated 18 fantastic, loving years together. The union joined their families and brought stepson, Tanner, into her life. Jill and Russ shared an unconditional devotion of love and support for each other over the years.
Jill and Russ made countless memories while spending time with their children and grandchildren. They also enjoyed traveling and took trips to Hawaii, Belize, Mexico, and many places all around the country. More recently, they traveled often in their motorhome, touring sights in the West. Jill loved living in Montana with her family.
Jill’s daughters, their spouses, and her grandchildren meant the world to her! She was so very proud of her six grandchildren and spent time bonding with them, playing silly games, attending birthday parties, and supporting their many activities. Sometimes Grandma Jill was just like another kid with them, and we adored watching her excitement and elation at every get-together, especially the holidays! Family holidays were a very important part of Jill’s life. She was always the glue bringing loved ones together. She also had the best goofy sayings that made us smile, her “Jill-isms.”
A lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, Jill enthusiastically watched the games and cheered them on in team apparel. She also greatly enjoyed crossword puzzles, word games, watching sci-fi or scary movies, decorating and wildlife-watching around her home, playing Bunco or other games, visiting over drinks or dinner, and staying up on the lives of her family and friends, sharing in their joys and heartaches alike.
Jill is survived by her husband, Russ Beree, her two daughters and their families; Megan (Jamey) Maxwell, and Dana (Justin) Marin; and grandchildren Adalyn, Emery, and Bridger Maxwell; and Keira, Caden, and Rylan Marin, all of Missoula. She is also survived by her brother Jeff (Kathy) Heider, of Kalispell; stepson Tanner Beree, and special cousins, a niece and nephew, and so many other family and friends who will miss her tremendously. She will also be missed by her beloved pets, Maxie, DeCon, and Mazy.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Victor and Bernice Heider.
There will be a Celebration of Life for our sweet Jill on Tuesday, October 12th, at 3 p.m. at Garden City Funeral Home. We will love her forever and always.