Jirel Ann (Jill) Benone (nee Colegrove), a resident of Glendale, California, for more than 50 years, and latterly of Las Vegas, Nevada, died on December 5, 2021, at the age of 82.
Jill was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1939 and graduated from Glendale High School in 1956. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and Bristol University in the UK. She also held a postgraduate diploma from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Returning to the U.S. aboard the Queen Mary, Jill worked for several years for ABC Television. She married Al Benone in 1966 in Pasadena and the couple had two children, Jennifer and Jordana.
Jill turned her considerable talents at theatrical production to her community work. She served as PTA president at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School and was active in the Glendale College Patrons Club, most notably for her work on the annual fashion show. However, Jill will be most remembered for the 20 years she devoted to the Verdugo Woodlands’ Father’s Follies, which she wrote and directed from 1977-1997.
Late in her career, she returned to teaching drama in the Theatre Arts Department at Glendale College. Her time at GCC was filled with friendship, laughter, learning and countless memories that she cherished.
Jill leaves her daughters, Jennifer Howard of Bath, England; Jordana Benone of Santa Monica, CA; and Michelle Gandara of Huntington Beach, CA; along with her three grandchildren, George and Arthur Howard of Bath, England; and Alexandra Gandara of Huntington Beach, CA.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, at St Mark’s Episcopal Church. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Verdugo Woodlands Dad’s Club vwdadsclub.com/donate/.