Obituary of Jill Stichler
Born on October 12, 1946, in Drumright, Oklahoma, the second of three children to Patricia Ruth Nash and Hugh Allen Sellers. In 1957, the family moved to Norman, OK where Jill graduated from high school and then from the University of Oklahoma in 1968 with a degree in Zoology. She had an active collegiate life, including joining a sorority and falling in love for the first time. After college, Jill began work at Tinker Air Force Base, married Joe Hylton and gave birth to her only child, Lisa Alexandria in the summer of 1975. Jill and Joe amicably parted ways, and shortly after that, she met a tall C-130 Air Force pilot from California named Richard David Stichler. She deemed it “love at first sight,” and her heart belonged to him forever. They married in the summer of 1980.
The family moved to Southern California, for a short time, before eventually landing in Maryland where Jill took a position with the Department of Defense. Jill often described these as her favorite years as she and Dick traveled the world, enjoyed professionally rewarding careers and generally relished in a family life filled with love and good friends.
Life dealt Jill a series of difficult challenges when Dick became ill and eventually passed away in 1987. While the loss of her beloved husband was a devastating blow, it developed within her senses of self-reliance, resolve, and independence that became the hallmarks of Jill's latter years. Focused on moving forward, Jill returned to school earning a Master's Degree in Administrative Science from Johns Hopkins University before accepting a position at the National Weather Service and returning to Oklahoma to start her life anew. Throughout her career, Jill was a champion for equal opportunity and worked diligently to prove that women could handle high ranking positions.
Upon returning to the Norman area, Jill built a home in the country near her mother and brother's family. Friends and family have long marveled at how effortlessly Jill transitioned into country life after such a long stretch in the hustle and bustle of the DC Metro area. Back on the farm, Jill built a home with the help of her brother and quickly fell back in love with the sights, sounds, and pace of a less hurried existence. She soon developed a passion for gardening that eventually blossomed into a second career as a full time-grape grower, winemaker and political advocate for the burgeoning Oklahoma craft wine industry.
Jill was driven, tenacious and passionate; often with an intimidating exterior that belied a soft, and at times sensitive, inner self. It is this side of her that will be missed most by friends and family. Jill is preceded in death by her husband Lt. Colonel Richard Stichler, mother Patricia Nash Sellers and father Hugh Allen Sellers. She is survived by her daughter Lisa Parfitt, brother Hugh Sellers, sister Sharon Harrison Sellers, grandchildren Ava Jayne Parfitt and Careem Peets-Parfitt as well as countless other family and friends near and far.
For those interested, the family suggests a small memorial donation to the ALS Association at www.alsa.org
David C. Gross Funeral Home - St. Petersburg Chapel is serving the family.