Virgilia "Jill" Cora Sailors
October 26, 1935 - May 7, 2021
Virgilia Sailors, 85, of Aurora, Colorado passed away shortly before sunrise on May 7, 2021. Jill was born in Fort Lupton, Colorado on October 26, 1935, to Virgil Paul Franklin and Virginia Violet (Tate) Franklin. She was their only child together, and they divorced when she was quite young.
Jill’s mother remarried in May 1941. Her new husband, Myron Smith, was in the US Army. They moved around quite a bit due to his job, so Jill spent a significant amount of time travelling the United States, both with her mom and stepdad, and her maternal grandmother and (step)grandfather. She was able to visit with much of her mother’s family during this period, including riding horses with her great uncle Ward on great aunt Zelma’s ranch in Riverton, Wyoming, and helping her grandparents on their chicken farm in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Between 1942 and 1953, Virginia gave birth to 4 more children: Jill's half-sister Edris, and 3 half-brothers, David, Michael and Stephen.
In 1943, Jill’s father was also remarried, to Adella Kubacki, fondly nicknamed “Dell”. Dell and Virgil had 2 sons: Jill's half-brothers Paul and Gene.
After Myron was discharged from the Army, the family eventually settled in Littleton, Colorado - a decision that permanently altered the course of Jill's life. After transferring to Littleton High School, Jill was invited to attend a basketball game to meet new people and get involved with her new school community. It was there that she met Guy Sailors. Jill was always a bit impatient when it came to waiting for things she wanted: after waiting for Guy to ask her out, she turned the tables and asked him to escort her to the Twirp Season Dance. He accepted, and thus began their fairytale. Guy was set to graduate in 1953, a year before Jill, but confessed to her that he wouldn't mind staying for another year if it meant spending it with her. Together, they dreamed of a perfect life: married, with a son and daughter, a puppy, and a home with a fireplace.
Jill graduated from Littleton High School, class of 1954. She attended college for a year afterwards, as requested by her mom and stepdad, before marrying Guy on October 2, 1955. The happy couple tied the knot at Littleton Presbyterian Church (now known as First Presbyterian Church of Littleton), surrounded by family and friends.
Their son, Mark, was born December 21, 1956, and their daughter Vicki followed on June 6, 1959.
In the mid-60's, Guy and Jill bought a beautiful home in the University Hills neighborhood of Denver, complete with a fireplace. A German Shepherd, Lady, completed the dream. They renovated the house, built a garage, fenced in the yard, and turned it into their very own oasis - the perfect setting to host family get-togethers.
Jill worked for various retail stores, but she was most proud of her time at JcPenney. Over the course of 20+ years, she managed the stockroom, and supervised product merchandising. Her artistic gift was well spent putting together picture perfect window displays.
In the late 90's, Jill and Guy retired. They sold the house in University Hills, and bought a new ranch-style on the outskirts of Florence, Colorado. Small-town rural life suited Guy and Jill well. Jill had always wanted to live in the mountains. This new house put them less than 20 minutes from the mountains, but close enough to civilization to ensure all their needs could be easily met. With one grocery store, one hardware store, and a “business district” just a few blocks long, the couple quickly and easily became immersed in their new community, and it didn’t take long for everyone to know them by name.They were well-liked and respected by everyone who knew them.
Guy and Jill were both very firm in their faith, and did their best to live every day as lampstands for Christ’s love and light. When their children were younger, they volunteered with their church: Guy was a deacon and helped with various youth services, and Jill taught Sunday school. They taught their children the value of working hard, and to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their lot in life. Jill always had a kind word or compliment to give, and always looked for the best in people.
Jill loved nature. It was rare she would pass up an opportunity to go picnicking, camping, hiking, biking, or swimming. Her yard was always filled with plants for the bees and other critters to enjoy, and bird baths and feeders for the birds and squirrels. While living in Denver, she even had a family of “pet” squirrels that she hand fed every day!
Jill was preceded in death by her parents and step-parents, brothers Stephen Smith and Paul Franklin, and beloved son Mark. She is survived by her loving daughter, Vicki; 5 grandchildren: Mark, Alishia, Jeramie, Jennifer and Jessica; 15 great-grandchildren: Emily, Tyler, Jordan, Travis, Guinevere, David, Cassidy, Ryan, Victoria, Alyssa, Veronyka, Patrick, Mark, Maggie and Jeramiah; several siblings; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their extreme gratitude to Nora and William at Nora Personal Care Assisted Living for their kind and loving care over the last several years, and the folks at Brighton Hospice for keeping Jill comfortable during her last days, and letting her leave this world with dignity.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you instead consider a donation in Jill’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, Denver Dumb Friends League, or another charity of your choosing.
Private service and burial at Chapel Hill Cemetery.
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