After only three weeks of mourning the loss of her own mother, Jill Evans Heaberlin lost the long battle for her health on Dec. 6, 2022 in St. Paul, MN. She showed amazing strength and determination to be here for her children, friends and family as long as she could.
Jill was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky March 16, 1959 to John M. Heaberlin and Imogene Berryman Heaberlin Haggard. Her passion for dance may have started at the Town & Village School of Dance, then led to a degree in Performing Arts at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY.
She enjoyed two seasons performing in the outdoor drama “The Lost Colony” in Manteo, NC, then with modern dance companies in Boulder, CO, Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC. This experience included a performing tour through Thailand. In 1987, Minneapolis, MN became her home where she led a successful career as a dancer and choreographer, producing her own work and dancing with GSCDT, New Dance Ensemble, and Margolis-Brown. She also became a dance educator at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. The house in St. Paul became her permanent home with her two kids and labradoodle, Lizzie.
Jill was a voracious reader and an omnipresent parent at volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee games, Lego League, and Taekwondo events. Jill was inspired by her children to earn a black belt in Taekwondo, an accomplishment of which she was proud. Jill was very pleased to see her children, Grace and Griffin Backes, through college graduations. She will be missed, also, by siblings John Charles Heaberlin, Joy (Van) Graham, Holly (Keith) Rost, and her former husband, Scott Backes, as well as several nieces and nephews. Jill’s family appreciates the caring help and support of her friends and neighbors who will miss seeing Jill and Lizzie on her beautiful front porch. A gathering to remember Jill will be in the Ordway Gardens in Como Park Conservatory Dec. 27, 2022 at 6:00 pm.