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26090 Pine Street
Calumet, MI 49913
Phone: (906) 337-4600
Fax: (906) 337-4699
Jll VanderMeer

Jll VanderMeer

Saturday, August 21, 1954 - Wednesday, July 1, 2020
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Jill VanderMeer 65, a resident of Allouez passed away peacefully on Wednesday July 1, 2020 at the Omega House in Houghton.

She was born on August 21, 1954 in Lansing to Peter and Jean (Petrie) VanderMeer. She grew up in Okemos and graduated from Okemos High School with the Class of 1972. Following high school, Jill attended Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1978. Jill worked for several companies as a GISSpecialist, retiring from International Paper in 2015.

From her youngest days, Jill was always a free spirit; someone who marched to her own drummer. After graduating from college, and some time living in the Swiss Alps, it didn’t take Jill long to find that the Upper Peninsula was perhaps the best place in the world for her to find a welcoming home, full of people who shared that independent spirit while recognizing the importance of friends and community.

Jill was also a sensitive soul, who always pulled for the underdog. Jill felt at home in nature. She loved a variety of outdoor activities, hiking, kayaking, and cross-country and downhill skiing. While winter in the UP is not for everyone, for Jill, it was a chance to hook up one of her beloved dogs for a day of ski-jouring. For many summers she served as a park ranger or interpreter for Isle Royale National Park and Fort Wilkins State Park. She enjoyed, taught, and performed dances of all types including tap, clogging, square dancing, and international folk dancing. Jill was a member of a recorder group in Calumet, where she often transcribed the music making it easier for all to play. Jill was a renowned square dance caller, throughout the state of Michigan and Minnesota, having spent a couple of years “down south” in the Twin Cities.

She was the founding leader of the Keweenaw Heritage Dancers in 1985. She went on to organize the Keweenaw Stoutwood Morris Team, both groups traveled throughout the state performing and competing. Her love of music and dance brought people together, and developed many friendships over the years.

On December 30, 1998, she was united in marriage to James McAnallen in Glen Haven, Colorado. They were a perfect match and spent many happy years together in Michigan and Florida.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Jean VanderMeer.

She is survived by:
Her husband: James of Allouez
Her step-son: Samuel (Ikuha) McAnallen of Melbourne, Australia
Her step-daughter: Angela (Efi) Davidi of Boca Raton, Florida

Her brothers: John (Cindy) VanderMeer of Lakewood Colorado
Steve (Ann) VanderMeer of Fort Collins, Colorado

Her sister: Lynne VanderMeer of Grand Haven, Michigan

Along with numerous step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A celebration of Jill’s life will be held at a later date.

Online condolences for the family may be left at

The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Memorial Contributions can be sent to the Copper Country Humane Society
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Karen Gardner

Posted at 07:03pm
I have so many fond memories of time spent with this lady it’s hard to know where to begin and what to say. She was an awesome coworker with Lake Superior Land Co and then a great friend. I was thinking of her yesterday just before I saw the Facebook post that she had lost her battle with cancer. My heart goes out to Jim and family.
Karen and Darryl Gardner

Tom Kelley

Posted at 02:46pm
I’m sorry to learn of Jill's passing. I only met her a couple of times, but could tell immediately that she was a very nice person. She had great GIS skills, and over the years she crafted all of the maps I needed for my various timberland clients. I will surely miss her friendly voice over the phone and the great talent she possessed. Thomas Kelley, Kelley Forestry Services

Leslie Sotala

Posted at 08:52pm
Jill and Jim,

Thank you for introducing us to Bumbletown Hill.

Jill, you will always be a part of the soul and soil and all that grows here.

Keep dancing. Singing. And send us music!

Love you,


Geert Raeymaekers

Posted at 04:20pm
So sad to hear that Jil passed away. She had written me a few years ago that she was diagnosed with a cancer and now she is no longer. Jil was such a nice person, always interested and joyful. I was so pleased to have known her when I was a grad student at MTU between 1983 and 1986. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to dance the square dances, which she called so perfectly, to cross-country the Maatso Hiihto Trail with her and our friends and to be able to sit next to her and have a chat when I last saw her at Dana's potluck in August 2018. She told me then that she was also a recorder player.
Tonight I will take my tenor recorder and play, as a special commemoration for Jil, Pavane Lacryme ('Flow my tears') from Downland.
I wish Jil's partner, family and friends all strengths in these sad days.

PS: the picture I attach is the one I took from Jil is the one I took at Dana's potluck in August 2018.

Geert Raeymaekers, Brussels Belgium (


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