Here is the obituary as written by Jill!
Jill Meredith Cohen, age 56, died August 11, 2016 of complications related to metastatic breast cancer. A life-long Zionist and committed Jew, Jill was president and a member of the board of Congregation Beth Shalom and a life member of Hadassah. In recent years she also volunteered for Swedish Medical Center, Gilda’s Club Seattle and the Young Survival Coalition.
Jill spent a transformative year studying in Israel at age 17, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University. Jill spent her professional career serving the Jewish community and fighting HIV/AIDS. She always said that working for non-profits helped pay her “rent” on earth by trying to make the world a better place.
The perks of Jill’s professional career in the Jewish community were the multiple opportunities to travel to Israel and to help share her love of Israel with others. She was proud to have re-invented herself mid-career as a fundraiser, which gave her the opportunity to teach people both how to give themselves and how to ask others for support of a worthy cause.
All her life Jill was an avid dancer and singer, and performed with the Sabra Dancers of Cincinnati, Zemya Ethnic Dance Theatre of Washington DC, Zivili Kolo Ensemble of Columbus Ohio and Seattle’s Radost Folk Ensemble and Dunava Women’s Balkan Choir. Her favorite part was to ululate, yip and bark like a dog! Jill was especially fond of Broadway musicals. As a girl, she wanted to be a Rockette but never met the height requirement.
Jill believed there are four things central to a good life: a relationship with a loving partner; involvement in community; satisfying and challenging work; and raising the next generation.
After her cancer diagnosis, and particularly after her diagnosis with metastatic disease, Jill tried to live in the moment, especially if that moment included some vitamin CH -- chocolate. She found tremendous satisfaction in writing about her life with metastatic breast cancer on her blog, Dancing With Cancer (http://www/jillscancerjourney.blogspot.com). Her family and friends can continue to write there to honor her wishes that the blog stay active for a year after her death.
The great tragedy of Jill’s life was not breast cancer, but the fact that cancer cheated her and her husband Rik out of children. To all parents, she would say: “You have been given a special blessing and responsibility to raise the next generation.”
Jill is survived by her loving husband Richard (Rik) Katz, her faithful companion dogs Bobka and Boychick, and Marilyn Cohen (mother), Susan and David Olinsky (sister and brother-in-law), Eric and Dana Olinsky, Jo and Abe Katz, Bobby Katz and Tina Otto, Michael Katz and Maulkie Spilberg, Marcus and Luca Katz.
As a fundraiser for many years, Jill would appreciate donations in her memory to Young Judaea, the youth movement backed by Hadassah, which played so formative a role in her life (http://www.youngjudaea.org), or to Congregation Beth Shalom, her spiritual home (http://www.bethshalomseattle.org). Jill also supported the research organization Metavivor where 100% of donations go to metastatic breast cancer research (http://www.metavivor.org).
In loving memory Rik Katz