Jill Byrd Bretch

November 18, 1945September 10, 2020

IRMO – Jill’s long battle with Alzheimer’s disease ended peacefully Thursday evening, September 10, 2020. She is now in a far better place in the arms of our Lord.

Jill, age 74, was born in Hartsville, SC, a daughter of the late Herbert Miller Byrd and Beatrice Parrott Byrd. Jill spent part of her childhood growing up in Mexico City, Mexico, where her father worked for Sonoco Products. She graduated from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio with a degree in Spanish and during her college career, spent a year studying abroad in Spain. Following college, Jill worked for the American Red Cross and spent a year in South Korea. She later earned her Master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina and worked for the South Carolina Highway Department.

Jill was a true animal lover and liked to tell everyone “all of my children have four legs.” She was especially fond of her Australian Terriers and loved to show them in dog shows up and down the east coast. Jill was also an avid cyclist, who often participated in or led 30-mile bike rides through the back roads of Irmo and Dutch Fork. She was a devoted worshiper of Riverland Hills Baptist Church for twenty-five years.

Jill is survived by her husband, Eric Bretch; sister, Catherine McBroom (Tom); brothers-in-law, William Bretch (Karen) and Gary Bretch (Cynthia); nieces, Bebe Lane, Becky Bretch, Anna Kairys (Luke); nephews, Tom McBroom, Jr. (Shannon), David Bretch (Jennifer), Jonathan Bretch (Cassie), and Eddie Bretch (Kaitlyn).

Memorials may be made to Wescott Acres Pet Rescue, 6605 Wescott Road, Columbia, SC 29212. Due to Covid-19 concerns, the family will have a private graveside service at Fort Jackson National Cemetery. Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel, is assisting the family.

The family would like to thank the staff of The Heritage at Lowman Home for their kind and compassionate care during the last year.

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Jill Byrd Bretch

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Carla Whitesell-Dahl

September 14, 2020

On behalf of the staff of the Bethany Building at the Heritage at Lowman, it was a pleasure and honor to care for Mrs. Bretch. She will be remembered as a kind lady who found joy in having her finger nails painted red, wearing pretty shoes, and she enjoyed Elvis, The Beach Boys and other fun music at meal time.

Kenneth Carder

September 13, 2020

My experience with Jill was during her time at the Heritage at Lowman. She always contributed to the worship services by her sweet smile, careful attentiveness, and encouragement of others. She treated everyone with kindness and compassion, demonstrating that people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia never lose their basic identity as a beloved child of God and continue to be channels of God's love to others. She was living proof that "love never ends."


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