Jill Shermaine Marie (MacDonald) Taylor

November 2, 2017 59 Condolences Print Obituary

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Jill Shermaine Marie (MacDonald) Taylor of Hay River, NWT on Oct 31, 2017, at the age of 52.

As the only girl in the MacDonald clan, Jill was the heart of her active family in Port Hawkesbury, NS. Growing up with four brothers and surrounded by a large extended family, she developed a love of family and community that would carry her through her life.

Jill graduated from Acadia University with her BA (‘86) and BEd (‘88). While studying at Acadia she met Mark Taylor who became the love of her life. As newlyweds, she and Mark left the East for new adventures in Canada’s North.

Together, Jill and Mark embraced life in the North. They raised and raced dogsled teams and immersed themselves in the culture, creating long lasting friendships in the communities in which they lived. Throughout her northern teaching career Jill worked in Cambridge Bay, Norman Wells and Hay River. She taught classes ranging from grade-3 to high school, was a Vice Principal and Principal, and eventually travelled throughout the Territories as an Inclusive Education Program Coordinator for the SSDEC school board.

Jill’s commitment to her community, and particularly at-risk youth, led her to create Lights On, which is a volunteer-led program to provide youth with a place to go for recreational activities on Friday and Saturday nights. She worked behind the scenes to raise funds for those most in need, including the Not-Us anti-drug campaign and the Leadership and Resiliency program. Over the past few years, Jill was very passionate about helping others as a ‘mindfulness’ coach. In 2013, in recognition of her work both inside and outside the classroom, she was named into the Northwest Territories’ Education Hall of Fame. In 2014, she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal as a supporter, mentor and advocate of youth at risk.

Jill’s generosity and kindness knew no bounds and she had a gift for life-long friendships, particularly with her close-knit group of girlfriends in Hay River, who are truly northern lights. She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother who took care of those around her. We feel blessed to have had her in our lives.

She is survived by her husband Mark Taylor, son Michael Taylor and joyful grand-daughter Madison, parents Lennan and Irma MacDonald, and brothers Shaun (Jill) MacDonald, Paul (Christine) MacDonald, Lennan (Tracy) MacDonald and Lars (Patsy) MacDonald, Mother in-law, Donna Taylor, brothers-in-law, David (Mona), Kevin (Treena), Derek (Lori-Anne), sister-in-law, Krista Taylor as well as many nephews and nieces.

She was predeceased by her brother Mark, father in-law Robert Taylor, son Matthew Taylor, nephew Nathan Taylor and aunt Donna MacKinnon.

In keeping with Jill’s wishes, there will be a celebration of life in Hay River on Saturday, Nov. 4th at the Diamond Jenness Secondary School at 4PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lights On program in Hay River.

  1. To the Taylor and MacDonald families,
    I knew Jill as a teenaged basketball player and primarily as Lars’ older sister. After reading the outpouring of love for her online and of her incredible teaching achievements it is clear she was much more than just an older sister. She has left an incredible legacy of love and kindness. Losing someone like Jill is difficult and I will be praying for strength for your families.
    My deepest sympathy,
    Lori-Ann (Deveaux) Betts

  2. Our heartfelt sympathy on Jill’s passing.

  3. RIP Jill-your smile and compassion made everyone feel welcome in your prescence. Your laughter and sense of humour were sure to brighten ones day. Sending condolences to everyone in your family.
    As you, Jill’s family, journey through this difficult time, know that so many people were impacted by having met and known Jill. Thank you for sharing her with us………….
    Flo Campbell, Judique

  4. Although we never had the privilege of knowing Jill, we heard so much about her from our daughter Alison LeCouter, a teacher in Hay River. We are truly sorry for your loss.

  5. Mark so sorry to hear of Jill’s passing from Judy. My thoughts and prayers are with at this difficult time. Liz Davidson Port Hope, On.

  6. Jill was just a beautiful lady who had time for everyone. As a teacher and Principal in the Wells she helped every child and made them all one as important as the other. As a friend and community member she was always there. Great spirit and a beautiful smile. So sorry for your families loss and all of our loss

    • dance with the stars

  7. So very very sorry about your beautiful girl . Life is just not fair. She always was a true beauty inside and out. Somehow may you all find a ltitle peace somedayj. God Bless each and everyone of you

  8. Sincere Sympathy on Jill’s passing. She was a student teacher in my Grade 2 classroom at Coldbrook & District school. She was so excited to be going up north with Mark. She had such potential and by reading her accomplishments both as an educator and family person she has done much to help others.

  9. To Jill’s family near and far, we wanted to send our sincere sympathies to you all. Although I did not know Jill, I began my journey at Acadia University the year after she left and even then, I knew she had left her mark. I started and graduated from Acadia with Lars and have kept in contact. Reading of Jill’s work with the youth in the Northern communities brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes since my husband and I have three Inuit children from Nunavut that we adopted. Jill obviously had passion for all things she was involved in. I wish I had the opportunity to know her and her greatness. Thinking of you all. Wanda & Ian MacLean Port Hawkesbury

  10. Our deepest sympathy for your loss.

  11. Deepest sympathy to Jills Family- parents- Lennie and Irma MacDonald- and all her siblings. And extended Families. I remember her as a young girl growing up in Port Hawkesbury with those beautiful blue eyes. She accomplished soo much in her short life. She will be greatly missed. Rip Jill!

  12. Hearing the news of the loss of Jill, this amazing and special lady who was loved by all who knew her, has been heartbreaking. She really was one of a kind. I don’t have words to express my feelings about her, she was simply amazing.
    Our deepest sympathy to you , Mark, Michael, Madi and all the rest of Jill’s family.
    ‘Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love gives us memories that no one can steal.’ Hold tight to those memories for comfort and lean on your friends for strength. You are all in our thoughts as you go through these difficult days. Take care of each other.
    RIP Jill. ??

  13. Mark and Micheal, we are so sorry for your loss, take care of each other and may God give you strength and Bless you both during this difficult time. Jill, we were so blest to have known you, so kind, caring, and full of positive energy you were. You have made a our life better just by knowing you. You truely were a remarkable person, just not enough words to describe you. We want to thank you for the support you showed us when we lost our son to cancer 2.5 years ago. I remember you saying”He is your special Angel now”. Thank you so much for everything and it was great working with you at DJSS. I love you and going to miss Jill Tayor❤. Heaven has now gained another Angel!! R.I.P. My friend, until we meet.??

  14. Hi Taylor Family and MacDonald Family,
    Graham and I are so sorry for the loss of Jill. She was light for many and she will be missed. Her legacy lives on in her family and the special projects she was involved in. She was an angel on earth that returned home. Find strength and support in each other .- Siobhan and Graham

    “Do not stand at my grave and weep, 
    I am not there – I do not sleep. 
    I am the thousand winds that blow, 
    I am the diamond glints in snow, 
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain, 
    I am the gentle autumn rain. 
    As you awake with morning’s hush 
    I am the swift-up-flinging rush 
    Of quiet birds in circling flight. 
    Do not stand at my grave and cry, 
    I am not there – I did not die.”
    -Mary Frye

  15. Mark and Mike….I am so terribly sorry for your loss…there are no great words of comfort for you and your family at this time…but thank you for sharing with us, this incredible and most beautiful lady, who had an impact on every person she touched. Keeping you all in my thoughts and in my heart.

  16. My deepesr condolences….
    Such wonderful childhood memories with Jill.

  17. Jill was our Junior boys basketball team back in 1994/95 when we
    Won the Cager Tournament in Yellowknife, I was the Assistant Coach
    And my son was on the team….no one thought a boys team from
    Cambridge Bay would ever win but we beat all odds….our sincere
    Condolences to the family especially Mark.

  18. Mark , Mike ,Irma, Lenny and all the Family:
    Remembering Jill as she grew up with my Two Daughters Colleen and Michelle , so much Fun,a Great Athlete, and a Great Friend to them .Always with a Smile and a little Mischievous in her Funny Ways. She was always at the house wondering OK!! What will we do today for Fun!!!!
    My Deepest Sympathy to All of You on this Journey you will have to make I will Pray for Strength for Your Family in this Emotional Time Our Hearts are also Broken.
    Bridget, Colleen and Michelle White Rest In Peace Jill

  19. Mark , Mike ,Irma, Lenny and all the Family:
    Remembering Jill as she grew up with my Two Daughters Colleen and Michelle , so much Fun,a Great Athlete, and a Great Friend to them .Always with a Smile and a little Mischievous in her Funny Ways. She was always at the house wondering OK!! What will we do today for Fun!!!!
    My Deepest Sympathy to All of You on this Journey you will have to make I will Pray for Strength for Your Family in this Emotional Time Our Hearts are also Broken.
    Colleen, Michelle and Bridget

  20. Erma and Lenny I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I was to hear of Jill,s passing. My heart is sore for you both and of course her husband, son and all family members. I will keep you in my prayers.

  21. I had the honor of working with Jill many years ago in the NWT. She was an amazing administrator, educator, mother and friend. We lost touch over the years but I will never forget her warmth and guidance. My sincere condolences Mark and Michael.

    Andrea Youck (McCowan)

  22. Lenny, Irma and families plese accept our deepest sympathy during this very difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless!!

  23. We are tremendously saddened of the passing of Jill. This was terribly distressful news for our community. It will take a long time for Hay River to come to grips with this loss.
    Jill will be remembered as an extremely kind, caring and dedicated mentor. she will remembered for serving her community with great distinction in many capacities.

    My sincere condolences to the family. I will always remember Jill for her clear blue eyes , smile and kindness.

  24. Mark and family our sincere sympathies to you at this time
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all

  25. Our Deepest Sympathy to the MacDonald and Taylor families. We were shocked and sadden to hear of Jill’s passing.
    Whenever I thought of Jill from our younger years in Port Hawkwsbury I would think of her kindness, very blue eyes and the girl in the family of boys.
    It is amazing to read of all her accomplishments, she will not only be greatly missed by her family but also her community.
    You are all in our hearts and prayers

  26. To the MacDonald and Taylor families our very deepest condolences…. May your angle fly high…. God Bless all

  27. To Len and family,
    Know that we are thinking of you as you grieve. Know that we are remembering you and honouring the memory of your daughter Jill.

    Management and Staff
    Dundee Resort and Golf Glub

  28. Mark, Michael, Madison, Uncle Lennie, Aunt Irma, Shaun, Paul, Lennan, Lars, your beautiful families and also, to Jill’s “extended family/friends” in her communities…in her Nothern home.
    There are no words, to help stop your pain or sorrow. My heart aches for you all. I am sending my most heartfelt condolences, on your tremendous loss, of such a wonderfully kind, caring, giving, woman.
    Jill, has most certainly left an incredibly awesome legacy. She has accomplished so much and helped so many people…A True Hero. …Jill is obviously held near and dear in a lot of our hearts. From reading all the beautiful memories posted, I can see, that she received as much love as she gave. ?
    I’m keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. May you find strength in each other.
    Rest in Peace My Beautiful Cousin. ???
    Much Love
    Madonna

  29. We were so very sad to hear of Jill’s passing. To Lenny,Irma,Mark,Michael and all the MacDonald and Taylor families our sincere condolences and prayers for your loss. May she rest in peace.

  30. To Mark,Michael, sweet little Madison, Mr.and Mrs. MacDonald, brothers and families,
    It is with a heavy heart that I send all of you my deepest heartfelt condolescences for the sudden tragedy of losing our beloved, Jill. Jill came to DJ a year after I had joined the DJ team/family. Her initial teaching assignment was to join me in team teaching our Grade 8/9 students core French. We bonded instantly and a collegiall sharing/mentoring partnership was formed and fortified over the past 15 years. Her passion for the youth to succeed was indescribable and it was her daily motivation not just as an educator, but as her true character. Jill was a ‘doer” and her tender loving heart would NOT allow her to quit the said task until it was established/completed. To say I am very humbled and honoured to have had her in my life, is indeed an understatement. Though, I would tell her how much I appreciated her, she would always, because of her graciousness, deflect the sentiment and proceed to give me encouragement.
    I will forever hold her in my heart.
    In the coming days as you share your stories of her life – through tears and laughter. I pray for God to strengthen you all through this difficulty. She will live on in the speaking of her name and you will forever hold her close as you cherish the memories you have, for I know that I will. God bless you all.

  31. To the Taylor Family and all the MacDonald Family. I am so sorry for your loss. Jill was a wonderful friend from early childhood and all through High School. Many memories came rushing back. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers!
    Sincerely,
    Michelle (White) and Gerard Morris
    Wasaga Beach, ON

  32. So sorry for your family’s loss and the loss to education. Jill was always so positive and encouraging… lucky those of us who knew her! Prayers and positive thought to all who are mourning this lovely woman.

  33. To all all the family and friend of Jill we share the sorrow of your loss. She was a very good friend and know the NWT will greatly miss her. Her love for everyone was definitely an inspiration.
    Sorry we can’t be there for the celebration of her life but or love and prayers are with you.

  34. Condolences to to all of Jill’s families. May you all find the strength to carry forward during this difficult time & always.

    Jill was a kind, gentle woman with a beautiful heart. She always welcomed you/us with open arms; she will never be forgotten. Thank you for being a part of us.
    Much love: Kodakin-Scott Family

  35. Dear Mark and family,
    I had the privilege of meeting Jill in 2008 as a Beaver volunteer at DJSS. Having travelled from the UK, feeling somewhat lost and more than a little apprehensive, Jill was one of the first people I met. Throughout the duration of my stay, Jill offered me kindnesss, support and friendship of which I will always be grateful for.

    Jill worked with passion and determination for the young people of the NWT, supporting those who needed it most. She was and will remain an inspiration to many. I have no doubt, her legacy will live on through the communities she worked with and the hearts she touched, of which there are many.

    Goodbye Jill Taylor, you are loved and missed but will always remain in our hearts.

  36. My family reaches out to you on the loss of your daughter, please accept our deepest sympathy during this difficult time.
    Martha McDonald

  37. We were so very sorry to hear of Jill’s passing. From Mickey and Anna( her grandparents) to our Mom and Dad…..our families have been friends. Our deepest sympathy to all who knew and loved Jill. You are all in our prayers. I am at a loss for words….God Bless all.
    Jo-anne, Kevin, Therese, Jennifer, Maria and Neelah Macdonald, Port Hawkesbury, N.S.

  38. Dear Family of Jill Taylor. Greg and I extend sincere sympathy to you all.

  39. To Lenny, Irma, Mark, Mathew, Shaun, Paul, Lennan & Lars,
    It is with deep sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Jill. She was a very special person and her legacy will live on forever. Please accept our deepest sympathy and our prayers and thoughts are with you all at this very difficult time.
    Tom & Shirley Prescott

  40. To Mark,and Michael Taylor:
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you grieve the loss of Jill.
    She was such a lovely person to work with and so very caring. She is greatly missed. May you find comfort in your wonderful memories of Jill and in knowing she was a great influence on many young peoples lives.
    “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” . Psalm 34:18

  41. We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We did not know your Jill, and have only just met Paul and Christine this past summer. Jill sounds like an absolutely amazing woman, not a surprise after getting to know Paul a bit on our bike trip to Italy. Please accept our sincere condolences.

  42. Lennie, Irma and family we are saddened to hear this news. Mom ( June Rogers) and I Cheryl were just speaking of you folks literally 3days before I was shocked to see Jill’s obituary. Our condolences to Jill’s husband and family as well. So very sorry.

  43. Sincere condolences to Jill’s family from George, Craig, and Scott Leslie. We all have fond memories of Jill. She was so kind to all of us, especially my Mother, Lou Leslie. She will be missed by all that knew her.

  44. We were so sorry to hear about Jill’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  45. to irma, len and family
    so very sad to read this news about your daughter jill. i can’t imagine what it was like to get the news.
    blessings and prayers to all of you and your struggle.
    sincerely,
    eileen (purcell)power and faye too
    formerly mulgrave now antigonish

  46. We were deeply saddened by the news of Jill’s sudden passing. My siblings and I have many fond memories as young kids playing with our cousin Jill and her four brothers enroute to Ben Eoin in the summers. As a kid, Jill was a bright eyed fireball who loved to run, laugh, and play. She loved competing in sports and games with her brothers, cousins, friends, and any other would be challengers. Jill was a fun-loving kid and an awesome cousin to play with and we will always remember her big blue eyes and her big, beautiful, mischievous smile.

    After reading all of the posts on this website it quickly becomes apparent how many lives Jill also touched as an adult and how much she was loved and respected by all those who were fortunate enough to know her as a student, an educator, and as a friend.

    Uncle Lenny and Aunt Irma, you obviously did an amazing job in raising Jill to be such a wonderful person and great community leader and I hope that you take much comfort in reading the many kind posts from her many friends and associates about your beautful daughter. Our sincere condolences go out to you, Mark, Michael, Madison, Shawn, Paul, Lennon, Lars and to all of your extended family members. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and our prayers at this difficult time.
    – Don Clancy and Family.

  47. Jill Taylor dedicated her life to education and wellness in Hay River, the South Slave and across the Northwest Territories. In the process, she touched more hearts and lives than any of us can imagine. May we remember the values that guided Jill, as her values might guide us in our lives: compassion, generosity, optimism, duty-bound energy, child-centered loyalty, initiative, availability, resourcefulness, dependability…

    Jill, thank you for your leadership and your friendship! Thank you for the energy and encouragement you brought to work and to everyone every day, and the humbleness you never failed to exhibit. You have left a legacy and provided awesome memories! A piece of you is in each of us!! We miss you dearly!!!

  48. I am so sorry to hear about Jill. Thinking about you and your family at this very difficult time. My deepest sympathy, Elaine (MacLeod) Smith

  49. Mr. Mark Taylor and family:

    I was shocked and saddened to read of Jill’s passing. I was a faculty member in Acadia’s School of Education when she completed her Education degree. She was a wonderful young woman and it was a pleasure to know work with her during those years.

    I offer my deepest sympathy to you and your family during these difficult times.

  50. I’m Jill’s cousin from New Waterford. I am so sorry for your loss. I am quite shocked. It was so nice read all the wonderful things she had accomplished in her life and to see how loved she was. God bless.

  51. You are all in our thoughts and prayers and we extend heartfelt sympathy to the Taylor and MacDonald families.

  52. I offer my deepest sympathy to Jill’s family and friends at this time. Jill was the second person I met in the North – I was looking for somewhere to have breakfast and she just picked me up and offered to drive me around looking for food – she didn’t know who I was, she just recognized that I needed something. That is who Jill was – the kindest, warm-hearted lady who looked out for the best interests of everyone around her.
    She fought for kids, said what needed to be said, even when it was hard. She will be sadly missed in our schools – she has been a big part of our lives.
    Jill, I will miss seeing your smile and hearing your voice, calling me “honey” – you made a difference in many people’s lives.

  53. Just want to let you know that I am thinking of you at this time.
    So sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

  54. Mark, we are so saddened to learn of Jill’s passing. Sending our heartfelt sympathies to you and Michael and family at this most difficult time. Thinking of you. Darren and Andrea

  55. Dear Irma, Lennie, Shaun, Paul, Lennan, Lars, Mark and Mike. So sorry to hear about Jill’s sudden passing. Reading about her tireless commitment to her community has been inspiring. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

    Colleen Clancy

  56. It is with a heavy heart that we write to tell you that you are all in our prayers. Jill’s love of life impacted us all and it was a joy to have grown up with her and watched her go through life with such strength. Love and sympathy from Natalie Clancy and family.

  57. I was greatly saddened to hear that Jill had passed away so suddenly. I had chatted with her just two evenings before her surgery and she was still just the same Jill we knew and worked with for many years in the Sahtu…..bubbly, joking and upbeat! Her passing came as great shock.

    Jill served the students of Norman Wells as a teacher and as a principal; later, she served the students of the Sahtu region as Inclusive Schooling Consultant. She brought tireless energy, dedication and enthusiasm to every role she occupied.

    On both a professional and social level, she will be greatly missed.

    RIP, Jill.

  58. My deepest sympathies on the loss of Jill, an amazing and beautiful woman. Jill had the gift of inspiring others to make our world a better place. There is no doubt her commitment and influence will be long lasting. I think of Jill often and her family and am most grateful to all for the honor of knowing her and working with her. My sincerest condolences.

    Shirley Kemeys Jones
    Yellowknife

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