Chapel Hill Gardens West Funeral Home & Cemetery

17W201 Roosevelt Road, Oakbrook Terrace, IL



Passed away on July 28, 2020

Jacky Merrill, 90, died peacefully in her home on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Wife of the late Curtis J. Merrill. Loving mother of Patrick (Laurie) Merrill, Cj (Alice) Merrill, Susan Lepore and Christy (Brad) Sopko. Proud grandmother of Matt (Angela) DeStefano, Tim Lepore, Kevin (Krista) Lepore, Annie Lepore, Grace Sopko and John Sopko. Adoring great grandmother of Lily Lepore and Asher DeStefano. Jacky was blessed with excellent health the first 89+ years of her life and lived each of those years to the fullest.

Jacky was born and raised in Iowa and grew up on the grounds of the Iowa Soldiers Home in Marshalltown, Iowa where her father Harry Malloy worked and charmed the residents. She recited the poem "In Flanders Fields" for the veterans on Memorial Day in the late 1930's and every Memorial Day since, including this past one, some 80 + years later. Following in her dear sister Patti Bacino’s, footsteps, Jacky went to the University of Iowa to study journalism. While there, she became the first female news editor of the Iowa City radio station and was the "first bag" of the University's Scottish Highlanders. It was also in Iowa City that she had a fateful blind date, on the day after St. Patrick's Day, with a handsome, young, Curt Merrill, who showed up with a half bottle of Irish Whiskey for the two of them to share. After many trips across the frozen Iowa River, the two were married on July 5, 1952.

Jacky was a helper . . . she helped the middle school kids at Bryan Junior High as a teacher's aide with a new computer system in the 70's, she helped the Special Ed kids at York Community High School in the 80's, she helped the college kids at Elmhurst College find careers in the 90's, and she helped the kindergarten kids at Field School in the 2000's.

But most of all Jacky was a proud and loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother to her kids. Nothing gave her greater joy than to see them "do their thing" - whether it was on the stage, on the field, in the classroom or in our chosen careers. They always knew Mom/Grandma was there - whistling, humming, twirling her curls and a step ahead of them all.

Jacky will be officially celebrated when this Covid mess is over. Memorials may be made to Northern Illinois Food Bank, 273 Dearborn Court, Geneva, IL 60134. But, for now, if you're so inclined - raise a glass to her. She was one of the great ones.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.



have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Cortez

August 6, 2020

Jacky was a ray of sunshine! She always greeted me with,”how are ya?” Jacky worked in my Kindergarten classroom at Field School in Elmhurst for more than 10 years! She shared a love of learning with our 5 year old students. She would kneel at their table and listen carefully to what they had to say! We all loved her and felt her love for us. She always validated my teaching and the effort that went into my job! Her funny sayings, like “taco Tuesday, made me laugh. Jacky was one of a kind! She will forever have a special place in my heart!
Love ya, Jacky! Barbara Cortez

Robert Doczi

August 3, 2020

Jacky was the bright light in our life. Always cheerful as we grew up. So many memories of the family together at the Holidays ! Always laughter, good food and drink. Fond memories forever.


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