Jill Marian DeRoche (nee Maehle) of Kirkland, WA was a loving, generous, and caring wife and mother. She passed away on June 3, 2023 at the age of 71 after struggling bravely for over 21 years with complications and disabilities from a brain tumor and associated neurological issues.
Jill was born to Kenneth and Duan Maehle on November 17, 1951 in Hinsdale, Illinois.
Her family moved from Illinois to Indio, California around 1960. She graduated from Indio High School in 1969 and earned a B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Redlands in Redlands, CA and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry at the University of California, Irvine.
Jill married Ken DeRoche, also from Indio, in 1988. They lived in Southern California until 1992, when they moved to Kirkland where they had resided since. They had one son, Michael, and Jill was also a loving step-mother to Ken’s daughter from a previous marriage, Rebecca, and step- grandmother to Rebecca’s children, Madeline, Lux, and James, and step-great-grandmother to Lux’s son, Tahkali.
Jill’s career included teaching English composition at Cal State University San Bernardino, San Bernardino City College, Irvine Valley College, North Seattle Community College, and Bellevue College. She was a member of Newcomer’s Club of Seattle.
Jill is survived by her husband of 34 years, Ken, her sisters, Jan Bredthauer of Marysvale, Utah and Joann Smith of Chandler, Arizona, her son Michael of Kirkland, step- daughter and husband, Rebecca & Bill Protzmann of San Diego, step-grandchildren, Madeline, Lux, and James, and step-great-grandson, Tahkali.
Jill was an avid animal lover. She adopted many dogs and cats from humane societies over the years and spoiled them with affection. She was also a big fan of television veterinary and zoo programs and developed a special interest in manatees after a vacation in Florida. She always said that in her next life, she wanted to be a veterinarian. In her prime, Jill enjoyed long walks, long bicycle rides, jogging, hikes, camping, exploring, and car trips. She enjoyed gardening and was a volunteer classroom helper at her son’s elementary school.
Remembrances in her name to any organization fighting against brain tumors or other neurological disorders, or donations to animal welfare organizations would be appreciated.
Celebrations of her life will be held on Saturday, September 9, 1-3pm, at Heritage Hall, 203 Market Street, Kirkland, WA and on Thursday, September 14, 1-4pm, at The Inn At Laguna Beach, 211 N Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA. Both celebrations will be live streamed on Zoom.