Cover photo for Jill Berube's Obituary
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1946 Jill 2023

Jill Berube

July 25, 1946 — April 14, 2023

On Friday, April 14, 2023, Jill Kawin Eckhouse Berube, 76, passed away unexpectedly due to complications from surgery.


Jill was born on July 25, 1946, to Barbara and James Eckhouse in Beaumont, Texas. She grew up in Texas, England, and Glencoe, Illinois. She received a BA in Anthropology, her RN in Nursing, and her Master’s Degree in Social Work.


Jill met the love of her life, Paul Berube, at the progressive Lewis-Wadhams school in upstate New York, where they both worked as teachers. She married Paul in 1973. Jill’s greatest joy was being a mother to her two children Daniel and Aleza.


Jill had a long career working as a nurse serving clients with traumatic brain injuries. After receiving her MSW, she served clients in the foster care system, and in community settings.


Jill was passionate about volunteering and helping her community and the world at large. She marched with the Students for a Democratic Society in the Sixties, and was a member and President of the League of Women Voters. Most recently she was part of the Race Unity Group which works to fight racism and injustice. Jill had her bat mitzvah in her fifties to the pride and admiration of her parents, children, and husband. She belonged to several book clubs and was an avid reader, filmgoer, and sometimes actor who loved to quote from Our Town and The Wizard of Oz. In the Nineties, she brought Great Books to Unity Point School and helped found and ran the drama club there for several years. She helped shape many young minds throughout her life, including most recently participating in the “I Can Read” program. Many of her former students and clients have approached Jill's family to let them know what an enormous impact she had on their lives.


Jill refused to slow down as she got older and didn't let retirement or a Parkinson's diagnosis in her seventies ebb her pace. She kickboxed with Rock Steady, took tai chi, modern dance, Zumba, and backpacked in Oregon with her sister Wendy.

Jill had a smile that lit up her whole face and could brighten anyone's day, no matter who they were. She cared about everyone she knew and met. She turned strangers into friends and made her friends a part of her family. Music, laughter, and games were a big part of her life. She kept us all laughing, whether she meant to or not. With her siblings, she'd recite from the British comedy stage revue Beyond the Fringe and was fond of reading aloud "The Night the Bed Fell" by James Thurber.


Always on the go, Jill didn't have much use for chairs, but was a great fan of walking, hiking, and hovering—the latter especially when her son or daughter were cooking something. She taught her family to avoid making generalizations or assumptions, and that the words "always" and "never" are verboten.


Jill is preceded in death by her parents, Barbara and James, her husband, Paul, and her nephew, Sam. She will be profoundly missed by her two children, Daniel Berube and Aleza Berube; her grandchildren, Feivel and Shoshana Sitarz; her siblings, Wendy Schwall (Will), Catherine Heagerty (Ned), James Eckhouse (Keliher), and Megan Jackson (Peter); and her many nieces and nephews.


The service will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at 4:30 pm at the Temple Beth Jacob in Carbondale, IL.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to I Can Read https://sites.google.com/a/ces95.org/i-can-read-of-southern-illinois/ , League of Women Voters https://www.lwv.org/give , or Rock Steady Boxing https://rocksteadyboxing.org/donate/


Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Jill visit www.meredithfh.com


To order memorial trees in memory of Jill Berube, please visit our tree store.

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Thursday, April 20, 2023

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