Jill A. (Simandl) Regan died peacefully on Thursday, June 28, 2018, with family and friends by her side, who had assisted greatly through her battle against Alzheimer's Disease for over 8 years. She was born on July 9, 1951, in Riverhead NY, to the late George Z. Simandl and Rita (Casalaspro) Simandl. Jill loved to travel, from her family's making frequent trips to national parks where horseback riding was featured. She overcame "reed anxiety" as she played oboe in the high school band, and often joined her father in fishing for flounder from the rocks off their beach... nothing from the store is ever as fresh. Jill seemed to have inherited her father's St. Francis gene in finger-perch feeding of chickadees, too, for she was an avid birder and naturalist. Upon graduation from Riverhead High School, Jill studied core courses at the University of New Hampshire, where she met her fiancé Mark, and then completed the junior and senior year BSN curriculum in 1973 at Cornell University, in their New York Hospital School of Nursing. Marrying in December of that year in Riverhead, Jill enjoyed a six-month honeymoon in Salzburg, Austria, where her husband was directing the UNH Junior Year Abroad program. She picked up German quickly, and audited several lecture courses at the University of Salzburg, assisting as "mom" to the UNH students. Returning to the United States, Jill worked in Baystate Springfield's Intensive Care Unit for two years before joining their new oncology program, for a cancer-fighting career of over 33 years. She also worked in the oncology field at Noble Hospital in Westfield, Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford,
and Riverbend Medical Group in Chicopee. At the 2008 Northeast Regional Oncology Nursing Conference held in Portsmouth NH, Jill was presented the prestigious Lauren J. Holm Excellence in Nursing Award. In addition, Jill served on the founding committee of the Cancer Houses of Hope and worked on the original Relay for Life committee in Springfield. She also
co-facilitated the first leukemia and lymphoma support group in the Springfield area. She was an RN, was board-certified in oncology, and participated in memberships including the Oncology Nursing Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, and the honor society Sigma Theta Tau. She was an active communicant of St. Peter and St. Casimir Parish in Westfield, where she served on the parish council several years ago. Jill is survived by her husband of 44 years, Mark; her two daughters Erin of Las Vegas NV and Ann of
Somerville MA; her sister June Wall of Los Alamos NM, and several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to meet for calling hours on Thursday, July 5, from 4 to 7 PM at the Firtion-Adams Funeral Home, 76 Broad Street, Westfield. On Friday, July 6, the funeral will start at 9 am at the funeral home, followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 AM in St. Peter and St. Casimir Church, 22 State Street, Westfield. Burial will follow the funeral Mass, at St. Mary's Cemetery on Route 10/202 near the turnpike exit. Donations in Jill's memory may be made to Mercy Adult Day Health (mercycares.com), where she received active care from summer 2015 through spring 2018, or to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund (curealz.org). Firtionadams.com