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Jill K. Colomb

September 12, 1947 - April 7, 2016

Jill Kathleen (Whent) Colomb passed away peacefully on April 7, 2016. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia on September 12, 1947 to Alfred Bryan and Ruth (Schick) Whent. She was the first of five siblings spending her childhood in Vancouver, Victoria and Princeton, B. C. She particularly enjoyed her summer days playing on the beaches of Boundary Bay. The family moved to Monterey CA in 1964 where Jill completed high school, and went to work as an operator for Pacific Bell Telephone Company. She fondly remembered the many collect phone calls that she connected during those days from the service personnel on duty in Vietnam. In the fall of 1970 she met Herb who had just returned from duty in the Mekong Delta to attend the Naval Postgraduate School. The two were married in the school’s chapel during semester break in the summer of 1971.  For the next 24 years Jill, Herb and their children Chad and Kristin traveled to a variety of duty stations near and far including Newport R.I., Pearl Harbor, HI, Cheyenne WY, Monterey, CA, Washington D.C., Bay St. Louis, MS and Cubi Point Naval Air Station, Republic of the Philippines. One of the highlights included watching Princess Diane land by helicopter on the Naval Observatory grounds for her visit to Washington. Also while at the observatory, she had a discussion with Barbara Bush on what type of tennis racket Jill should get for Chad.
After Herb retired from the Navy in 1995, Jill wanted to be on the west coast to be closer to her parents in Point Roberts WA and the children in central California. So the two settled on Oregon where Herb was offered a job at the Oregon State Capitol. Jill used her new setting to delve into some new hobbies. She traveled down to Corvallis every week to attend tole-painting classes with a close friend. She enjoyed buying dolls to place under trees for under privileged little girls. To make the dolls special she would spend several months sewing a new wardrobe for each of the dolls. Jill became active in the Assistance League of Salem. She worked in the league’s Daue House Gift Shop and School Bell program, but she felt most fulfilled in being in charge of preparing the lasagna for the league’s annual luncheon. In the past few years Jill has benefited from the close ties she had with the members of her PEO sisterhood. She even persuaded her two sisters to join.
Jill is survived by her husband of 45 years Herb, son Chad Colomb, daughter Kristin (Colomb) Cruz, grandson Adan Cruz, Jr., granddaughter Lillian Ruth Cruz; sisters Mary Whent Hodges and Janine (Whent) MacDonald, two brothers and several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Jill’s life will be 2:00pm Tuesday, April 12,, 2016 at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.   In lieu of flowers, donations for PEO scholarships are encouraged.

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Jill and I met in 1999 at an Assistance League of Salem new member orientation. We began a friendship that day, Jill was a loving and giving person. We shared many times over the years, and had a lot of fun together. Jill was a really good cook. Our families shared more than one Thanksgiving. We attended multiple Mardi Gras parties at Jill and Herb's home. She made an awesome gumbo. Jill loved to swim, and told me she felt so free in the water. She loved her grandchildren so much, and gave them her heart and her time ever since their birth.
She loved interior decorating, and made a beautiful home for Herb and herself, using a nautical theme to honor Herb's service. She was a good card player. She loved champagne for special occasions, and would get giggly and funny. A few years ago I had a car accident and it took a month to repair my car. Unasked, Jill gave me the keys to her car for the whole month.
There is so much more that we shared. These are just a few of the memories I will keep of my friend Jill. I loved her and will miss her.

Herb and family:
Very sorry to hear of your loss.

So sad to hear of your loss. My old neighbor in West Salem told me.Jill was a very caring person and I still remember the day I knocked on her door to ask for the packing boxes for my daughter's move. We are very close in age so this really hit me hard.  Many times we had tea together at her house and shared stories of our children. My condolences to Herb, the grandchildren and family.

We remember how patient Jill was about storing large amounts of CERT supplies in your garage for our neighborhood preparedness. We extend our love and prayers to all of you in her family.