Jill Marie Strickler, 59, of Chatham, NJ, passed away on August 29, 2019. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church, 85 Washington Ave. in Chatham on Friday, September 6 at 11am followed by a private cremation. Friends are invited to visit at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main St. in Chatham on Thursday from 4 to 8pm.
Born in Minneapolis, MN, the daughter of Ralph and Beverly (Walstead) Strickler, Jill was raised in Richfield, MN, where she graduated from Richfield High School in 1978. She attended Concordia College in Moorehead, MN where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Spanish, won numerous awards in the American Forensics Association, and met her husband Curt Villars. After working on a ranch in Big Sky, MT she returned to Minneapolis to begin her career in the financial services industry. After getting married in 1985, Curt and Jill moved to New Jersey to start their life together. They bought their first house in New Providence, NJ and started their family. They moved to Fairfield, CT and created life long friends before settling down in Chatham where they spent the last 23 years. After many years as a consultant in the financial services industry, she left the workforce to dedicate her time to her family. She immersed herself in the Chatham community, serving as the Washington Avenue School PTO President, volunteering with the Colony Swim Team, participating in NJ 11 for Change and Chatham Democrats, working as a Master Poll Worker, and chaperoning the middle school ski trip for over a decade. She spent many mornings with a beloved circle of friends and dogs. Jill loved exploring the outdoors with her family and friends. She went on many incredible hiking, camping, and canoeing trips, instilling a love for nature and adventure in her children. She will be remembered for her contagious smile, her strong spirit, and for her endless compassion.
Jill was the beloved wife of 34 years to Curt Villars. She was the loving mother of Melissa Villars, Jesse Villars and Daniel Villars. She is also survived by her dear sisters, Kathleen Reimers and her husband Lloyd and Debora Wasilensky and her husband Robert, and her faithful companion, Blackjack. Jill had a vibrant, outgoing, and warmhearted personality which meant she made friends easily, everywhere, and in abundance. She loved them all.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jill’s memory may be made to the Nature Conservancy or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.