A seeker and mystic with the superpower of fostering community everywhere she traveled, Jill Mehler ended her walk of life, unexpectedly, at her home in the West End of Hartford, CT, on Monday. She was 73.
Her soul was drawn to the sea, which gave her strength to host myriad gatherings of family and friends. Everyone was welcome at Jill Mehler’s table and she was forever on the lookout for the genuine heart connection. She gave her friendship and love unconditionally, whether at very unorthodox, overflowing Passover Seders in her living room or while hearing the life story of a stranger at the grocery store.
A resident of Hartford, CT, and Plum Island, MA, Jill is survived by her partner of 18 years, Raphael Podolsky of Hartford, CT; her daughter, Jessye Mehler (Jay Stange), of West Hartford, CT; son, Elan Mehler (Ophélie Blanquer), of Amesbury, MA; sister, Dr. Linda Wexler (Colby Munger) of Olympia, WA; and her beloved grandchildren, Lena Stange, Ira Stange and Clémentine Mehler Blanquer. She was enormously connected and entwined with her nieces and nephews, Perri, Dan, Lisa, Mike, and Matt. She was preceded in death by her parents, Julius and Sylvia Perlman of Roselle, NJ.
Jill was a talented teacher and artist. She infused her family with a lifelong passion for the arts. She loved to dance and would do so enthusiastically and ecstatically. “Love is the only dance there is” was her motto. Jill created and directed the Learning Opportunities Program at Mount Ida College where her fierce commitment and advocacy for her students often brought her into contention with the administration. One of her two Masters degrees was in Child Development. Throughout her life, she had a powerful, intuitive and immediate connection with children of all ages, to which she credited her having never lost her wonder in the world.
Jill understood love’s power to connect us. She believed that, if people think of someone, they are more present than if they were physically in the room. Her circle is enormous and she remains with us all, keeping us connected in it.
The Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950 is assisting Mrs. Mehler’s family with her funeral arrangements.
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