CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA November 25, 1936 – September 3, 2021
Jill Barnett Detweiler, 84, died peacefully at home, with family beside her, on Friday, September 3, 2021. Jill exuded joy and valued friendship. Her effervescent personality brightened every room she entered. She liked a little “bling” to accompany every matching outfit, part of her “down home elegance.” Jill had a particular way of doing things, but was never insistent or pushy. Pleasantness was her virtue.
Jill was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1936 as the first child of Thomas Andrew Barnett and Beatrice Martin Barnett. She has a beautiful, younger sister, Cyndi. Jill enjoyed twelve summers as a girl scout at Camp Riamo in Farmington, PA as both a camper and a counselor. She was trained as a Junior Air Raid volunteer during World War II. Jill was elected student body president of Uniontown High School, Class of ‘54. She played saxophone in the Red Raider marching band and enjoyed chorus, winning a scholarship to Westminster Choir College at Princeton. Jill was also active in Rainbow Girls and Asbury’s Methodist Youth Fellowship.
Jill moved to Pittsburgh for three years of nurse’s training at Presbyterian University Hospital, graduating in 1957. Named “Miss SNAP” by the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania, Jill was the queen of her graduation dance and the queen of our hearts. Jill married Nelson Detweiler of Uniontown at Asbury United Methodist Church under a blanket of snow in March 1958. They honeymooned during a blizzard in New York City and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida shortly thereafter.
Jill worked in the operating room at Broward General Hospital and became an Officer in the Junior Women’s Club. She was named “Junior of the Year” in 1967. She was a protective, nurturing, and devoted mother to Craig Nelson, Dixie Lee, and Drew Thomas Detweiler.
The Detweiler family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1975. Jill volunteered in the PTA, as a girl school leader, and as a MYF counselor. She scheduled Scripture readers and coordinated weddings for St. Stephen United Methodist Church. She played in the handbell choir.
Jill joined the P.E.O. Sisterhood in 1975 and was a founding member of Chapter AF in Charlotte for 45 years. She was also proud to have participated in Harvard Medical School’s groundbreaking Nurses’ Heath Study for 45 years as well.
Jill returned to nursing 1980 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC. She served in the maternity ward. Jill was amongst the founding staff at Same Day Surgery Center when it opened in 1985. She became charge nurse, working full time until her well-earned retirement in 2000. She volunteered at Novant hospital for the next 20 years. Jill also served as a poll worker for the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections for two decades.
Her favorite stateside trips included sojourns to Hawaii, South Dakota, and visits with her grandchildren in California. Jill’s memorable international travel includes tours of Ireland, Italy, Israel, Brazil, and playing with manta rays in Grand Cayman. She treasured vacations at the beach with her co-workers. Jill also valued friends she made at the Senior Center via activities like water aerobics.
Jill loved reading and gardening. She was a lifetime teetotaler and a cancer survivor. Jill loved animals, especially cats (although she chased away squirrels with a water gun).
Jill was preceded in death by her daughter, Dixie Lee and her husband, Nelson. Her robust spirit lives on in her sons, Craig and Drew, in her daughters-in-law, Caroline and Angela, in her grandchildren, Zoe, Theo, and Elise, in her sister, Cyndi and in her many nieces and nephews in Florida and Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Philanthropic Educational Organization’s Program for Continuing Education which supports the advancement of women through scholarships, grants, and loans.
A memorial service will be held at St. Stephen United Methodist Church on Friday, September 10th, at 3pm, with visitation before and afterwards. The Detweiler Family have entrusted arrangements to Cremation Society of Charlotte.
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