Jill Marie Ulrich, of Waukesha, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 9, 2022, at AngelsGrace Hospice at the age of 54. She had battled ovarian cancer for the past two and a half years. Despite the diagnosis and constant treatment, plus the covid pandemic, Jill stayed active for the past two plus years and did a lot of things she enjoyed. She is at peace with God now.
Jill was born in Oshkosh on December 6, 1967, the daughter of John and Judy (nee Schils) Woreck. She grew up in South Milwaukee and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She was a CPA who worked in several companies around the Milwaukee area (Marcus, Manpower, Journal Communications, Legacy Bakehouse, Generac).
Jill married her husband, Brian, in April 1997, and they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary earlier this year. They have two beloved children in William and Vivien, both currently in college. Her children were her life and she loved supporting them in all their various activities over the years. She was beyond proud of them and never missed a chance to talk about them and their accomplishments. One thing that made her happy was knowing that both Will and Viv are successful young adults who are on wonderful paths toward the future.
In addition, Jill is survived by her parents, John and Judy Woreck; as well as her two younger sisters, Sandy (Ernesto) Mendez and Cindy (Mike) Hollenstein; and her nieces and nephews Luis, Miguel and Katie Mendez and Abby, Edie and Norah Hollenstein; as well as her brother-in-law, Jeff (Jennifer) Ulrich. Jill’s family was very important to her and her influence on them will remain forever.
Jill was a funny person. When she got on something, she did it 100%. Her first love (even before Brian) was Fiesta Dinnerware (if you don’t know, look it up). She loved everything about it…the colors, the pieces, the “exclusives”…everything. Her collection numbers over 1,000 pieces in all colors and sizes, and she never stopped looking for / wanting more. There would be nights where she would be happy to “play with my dishes,” much like a little girl plays with dolls. And she had an eye for it too – her Instagram account (fiestacolorlove) showcased her talents. During her cancer journey, she took two memorable Fiesta related trips. The first was in December 2020, when she went to the Fiesta factory in Newell, WV (aka Mecca). This was a dream and she loved rummaging through everything and finding that one “special” piece that she wanted (never mind that there was a stack of about 50 of the same thing right there). And the second was in July of this year at the HLCCA Conference in Springfield, MO. There she was among “her people” who shared the passion and excitement of it all.
The other big thing Jill was 100% in on was Disney World (Florida…not California…she’d tell you right away, California is Disneyland, not Disney World!). This began with her parents and sisters when she was young. Those were car vacations and probably a lot of fun driving with 5 in a car in the 70’s. Jill also got to go to Disney when she first started work out of college thanks to the Marcus Corporation. That year, she went with her two sisters who were also young and free. The three of them had a blast, rented a convertible, and just, in general, made a lifetime memory (there are napkin notes to prove it). A few years later, after getting married and having kids, Jill decided it was time to introduce her three and a half year old and her one year old to the World. That began an annual, and in some years semi-annual trip to Disney World. Over the years, those trips varied, but all of them were special to Jill. Her planning and execution (always 100%) made the trips what they were. Fun fact, the family was actually at Disney when the shutdowns happened in 2020 with the pandemic. But there are two trips for Jill that are particularly special. The first was with Will alone for his fall break when he was an undergrad in 2018. Jill was able to repeat that same trip with Viv in 2021, even though she was in treatment at that point. For her to have those special moments alone with her kids – those meant everything to her. Jill and Brian did make one final trip to Disney World in May of this year. This was to celebrate their 25th anniversary and was particularly special given the circumstances.
Jill grew up as Catholic and raised her children in the Catholic faith as members of St. William Parish in Waukesha. She and Brian sent their children through Waukesha Catholic and Catholic Memorial High School. The friends that Jill made through the schools and the various activities of both Will and Viv are very dear to Jill. She always loved talking with and gossiping with her friends about whatever the topic of the day was. Those friends held a special place in Jill’s heart and had a significant impact on her life. As she went through treatment, the text messages of encouragement, or visits or calls, were all meaningful to Jill, and she appreciated every single one of them.
Visitation will be held on Monday, October 17, 2022, from 9AM to 11AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. William Catholic Church, 440 N. Moreland Blvd. Waukesha, WI 53188. Interment will be private at St. Joseph Cemetery in Waukesha. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Jill’s name to the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association (HLCCA.org) or the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRAHOPE.org).