Jill Marie Suhr Casey fought the fight, ran the race, and crossed the finish line early in the morning of Wednesday, September 7, 2016. With her life’s mission accomplished, Jill completed her battle with cervical cancer after courageously fighting for two and a half years, and she passed peacefully from this life to the next.
Born in Kewanee, IL on December 13, 1968 to James and Margaret Suhr, Jill was formed into a beautiful woman graced with many wonderful qualities. She will certainly live on in our memories as a leader whose strength, courage, and discipline drove her to realize just about any aspiration. It was in this way that Jill came to be known as “the finisher,” she didn’t merely talk about things, she did them. Every aspect of her life was approached with an undying dedication and we all experienced her ability to give this life the maximum. There was nothing in her that could undertake a role or a task in a half-hearted manner. Her dedication and devotion was ever-present to her family.
Her legacy as a faithful, loving, caring, compassionate, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend impacted us all in the most encouraging of ways. According to Kevin, “She was the best sister a brother could have.” As a wife, Jill, though not a uniform-wearing member of the United States Army, was as dedicated to the defense of her nation’s freedom as her husband who rose through the ranks during his military career. She maintained her family during multiple combat deployments and relocations over the years. As a mother, she was involved and interested in her children’s lives and her support was truly tangible. Always present for John Robert and Jamie’s school-related and extracurricular activities, Jill was a stellar mom.
In fact, all of the decisions she made were with her children in mind. Jill was proud of every member of her family, but perhaps, most proud of her two children. Maintaining John Robert and Jamie’s enrollment in a DoDEA School was of utmost importance to her. We know that Jill was looking forward to all the many achievements which are on the horizon for John Robert and Jamie. John Robert will be graduating from Ramstein High School at the conclusion of the school year and moving on to his studies of business and economics in higher education state-side. Jamie will be finishing her middle school career at Ramstein Middle School and entering high school studies state-side where she’s sure to continue her record of excellence in swimming.
While battling cervical cancer, Jill made many decisions which allowed her family to live as normally as possible. Her poise and self-sacrificing love were examples for us all. Her husband recalls, “Despite her ongoing battle with cancer she managed to maintain her routine which included daily visits to her house of worship, the fitness center, where she cleared her mind and pushed her body.” Somehow she managed to enjoy life just as she had before the diagnosis.
Having earned her Master’s Degree, Jill was extremely intelligent; she was a world traveler, an adventure seeker, a wine connoisseur, and a fitness guru. Her smarts allowed her to own and operate two of her own businesses, Fitness Consulting Services (FitCon) and Military Career Coach. Both ventures were successful and well respected for their contributions respectively. An exercise VHS entitled “Make the Most of It with Jill Casey” was one of the several fitness videos she created. Ironically, that title captures Jill’s very essence, making the most of it all! She traveled extensively to many destinations that most of us only see in films or read about. In her spare time, which she didn’t have much of; she was a wine enthusiast who had acquired a taste for a good bottle of German Riesling Spätlese or an Italian Moscato.
In her last days Jill wrote in her diary, “I loved my family more than words can convey and was so blessed to have so many people (family and friends) who loved me. I was a fierce mother and a committed military spouse. I was blessed with a 25 year marriage to an amazing husband. Our relationship will transcend this earth. I loved that I was able to help so many service members over the years.”
Some of Jill’s fondest memories include walking barefoot on Hawaiian beaches. She will forever be barefoot with the sands of Ko Olina Beach between her toes.
No arrangement of words could accurately describe how much she meant to us or how much she will be missed, but this text was an attempt at illustrating a very rich life which was lived fully to the very last breath.
Jill leaves behind her loving and faithful husband of twenty-five years, Lt. Col. John Joseph Casey III; son, John Robert Casey; daughter, Jamisen Margaret Casey; parents, James and Margaret Suhr; brother, Kevin (Cara) Suhr; mother-in-law, Linda Diane Casey; brother-in-law, Danial (Justin) Casey; sister-in-law, Shannon Green; niece, Jordan Marie Suhr; nephews, Alex, Austin, and Nathan Green, and Hunter and Carson Casey; and countless treasured friends from around the globe.
In lieu of flowers, it was Jill’s desire for donations to be made to Fisher House Foundation at https://donate.fisherhouse.org. Please be sure to click on the “This donation is a tribute” tab and note the specifics of your memorial donation.
The entire Casey and Suhr Families are deeply grateful for all of the staff members at Alive Hospice who graced them with tremendous care and compassion.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. A Celebration of Jill’s Life will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2016 commencing at 10:30 a.m. All will be held at Hendersonville Funeral Home, 353 E. Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075 hendersonvillefh.com 615-824-3855. Interment will follow the Life Celebration at Hendersonville Memory Gardens.