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Life Story / Obituary
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Jillian Amelia Parker of Holland, Michigan, died Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in a bicycle accident near Dayton, Ohio, where she was a senior at the University of Dayton. She was 21 years old.
Jillian was born May 10, 1999, the second of three daughters, to Sarah E. and Mark D. Parker. Always radiant and full of energy, she spent her childhood summers playing in the woods with her sisters in Bay View, Michigan, where she also worked with youth in recreation. As a student at Holland Christian Schools, Jill enjoyed running cross country, playing basketball, and making art.
Jill was a visual arts major pursuing minors in human rights studies and Spanish. She combined her talents in illustration and photography with her boundless compassion to tell stories and deepen connections that promoted the dignity and rights of every person. An avid climber, camper and lover of outdoors, Jill felt most at home outside. Music was also a huge part of Jill’s life. In her early years she discovered music on the glockenspiel in Kindermusik. She went on to play the flute. Most recently singing and playing the piano brought her joy.
Jill had adopted Dayton as her home and was committed to being active in the community, including through her work for food justice with Gem City Market and the immigrant-friendly initiatives of Welcome Dayton. On campus she brought art to others through Campus Canvas.
Jill was drawn to children. Those lucky enough to have known her remember Jill as a playful, intelligent, inquisitive, creative, caring and loving daughter, sister and friend who always made time for those in her life. Jill’s compassion lives on in her final act as an organ donor.
Jill is preceded in death by grandmother Carol Parker. She is survived by her parents; sister Maura (boyfriend Sachin Nagarajan); sister Suzy; grandparents David Parker and Margaret and Joseph Imrick; and boyfriend Carter Spires.
A drive-through visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 (please enter from West Lakewood Blvd.), and celebration of life service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, in Holland at Fellowship Church, 2165 W. Lakewood Blvd. Masks are required. The service will be live online through Fellowship Church. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Co-Op Dayton. In Holland, donations can be made to Community Action House or CultureWorks. At a later date a scholarship will be established by the Parker family in Jillian’s name at the University of Dayton.