Jill Morrill Obituary

Jill  Morrill
Jill Morrill
Jill Morrill

July 15, 1956 - November 27, 2020
Born in Northampton, MA
Resided in Urbandale, Iowa
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Jill Morrill, 64, passed away at her home in Urbandale Iowa, surrounded by her family and love on Friday November 27, 2020, exactly one month after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Born on July 15, 1956 in Northampton, MA to Benjamin Mysorski and Marjorie (Babbie) Mysorski, Jill began her love with the outdoors at an early age, growing up at her father’s summer camp, playing year round sports and being the first female recipient of an outstanding athletic achievement at Northampton High School.

A graduate of Springfield College in 1979 with a degree in Physical Education, Jill started her professional career as a PE teacher and Fitness Director at the Norwalk YMCA in Norwalk, CT. There she met Jim Morrill, the love of her life. The two were married on September 22, 1979 in Northampton, MA.

One of the quickest ways to bring a huge bright smile to Jill’s face would be to ask her about her children, who all feel exactly the same about her. Micaelah Burke was born in 1982 in Olney, Maryland; Benjamin James was born in 1987 in East Longmeadow, MA, and Kiera St. John was born in 1992 in Iowa. Jill was an incredibly active & devoted mother, to not just her children but to entire neighborhoods and communities of children. Active as a girl and boy scout troop leader, extra-curricular parent extraordinaire, always quick with a new craft or activity and always present with a welcoming smile and hug. Jill also loved baking and was quick to share any number of treats, often when you didn’t know you needed it.

Jill believed that all children can succeed with the right tools and devoted 17 years (2002-2019) of her life to serving the community that educated her children, Johnston Community School District, as a school board member, where she was elected Vice President and President. More broadly, she also served as the District #5 Representative for the Iowa Association of School Boards, where she was honored with an Award of Achievement in 2015. Continuing her commitment to education, Jill also worked as a paraeducator for special needs students at Waukee South Middle school until the time of her diagnosis. Active in state and nation wide politics as well, Jill was devoted to education reform, supporting female candidates and could regularly be found knocking doors of constituents and elected officials alike, to share her opinion, ask tough questions and pleasantly push for reforms she thought the world needed.

Jill’s battle with cancer was quick, but her heart was strong. Jill inspired us all with her bright spirit and positive attitude, even in her illness. Despite her heartbreakingly short time on earth, Jill’s impact on her community, her friends, her family and pretty much anyone who knew her will burn almost as brightly as she did, with every kind word, good deed, cookie baked and kitchen danced in.

Jill is preceded in death by her loving parents and brother, Gary. She is survived by her husband of 41 years Jim Morrill; children Micaelah (Ben Downing), Benjamin, and Kiera; her sister-in-law, Genie and her nephews Geoff (Laura) and Matt (Katie); grandsons Malcolm and Eamon Downing; and many friends and relatives.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made in Jill’s memory to the National Brain Tumor Society; www.braintumor.org 55 Chapel Street, Suite 200, Newton, MA 02458. A scholarship fund will be created in Jill’s honor for the Johnston Community at a later date.

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., please gather at the Johnston High School parking lot at 6500 NW 100th Street in Johnston, to show your appreciation as Jill makes her final visit to the projects she worked so hard for and say goodbye to the community she loved. We ask people to please respect social distancing guidelines and to wear your favorite bright color.

A celebration of Jill's life will be held next year. In the meantime, to sign a Guest Book, express condolences and share memories please visit www.IlesCares.com.

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel




Gathering to show Appreciation
Johnston High School
6500 NW 100th Street
Johnston, IA US 50131
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
4:00 PM


National Brain Tumor Society
55 Chapel Street, Suite 200
Newton , Massachusetts United States 02458