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22 October 1966 - 7 January 2016
On the morning of Thursday January 7th 2016, Jill passed away peacefully at home, after a courageous three year battle with kidney cancer; whilst being comforted by her dear family and friends. Jill was 49 years old.
Jill Baxter was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on October 22nd 1966. She was the third child of Jim and Allison Baxter, a sister to Steven and Craig.
During her childhood years, Jill attended Cloverleaf Primary School and Bankhead Academy, and it was during these school years that Jill developed her love for animals, with her family pets Dougal the cat and Sally her dog. She would always volunteer to look after animals from her school during holiday times and also started what would become one of her great loves, horse riding. Jill spent many hours walking up and down the country lanes around her house to get to the stables. At school Jill also enjoyed music, another early indication of a passion that would grow throughout her life, and played the clarinet. She also proudly wore the Girl Guides Brownie Uniform.
After finishing high school, Jill entered the fast paced world of the oil and gas industry, with a job at Comex in Aberdeen. In 1986 Jill started working at Redwood Corex, and this is where she would meet her future husband Keith. After dating for less than a year, Keith moved away to work near London, but their relationship continued despite the miles, and Jill would regularly make the long train journey down at the weekend to be together. Soon after, Jill’s travelling adventures started and she moved down to England and they bought their first house in Leighton Buzzard, complete with cats Tica and Jim Bob.
Two years later, Jill and Keith moved back to Aberdeen, and on August 20th 1988 they were married at Bucksburn Parish Church, so beginning their 27-year adventure of married life together, now as Mrs. Allan. During the initial years Jill worked hard and lived life to the full, enjoying her life of travelling, theatrical musical, a love she shared with her brother Steven and making the family home.
In 1995, Jill was thrilled to be able to announce to her family that she was pregnant, and daughter Jessica Elizabeth was born somewhat early on September 6th 1995. Jill’s love of travelling continued, but now with a young family, she entered into the caravanning phase of her life. Initially spending many a weekend away in the glorious Scottish countryside, then spreading her wings further afield to the Lake District and Devon in England and then over the channel to France. Jill liked nothing better than sitting outside her caravan watching her children play and sipping the odd glass of wine or two as the sunset on the horizon. Even when the weather was bad, Jill would lie in the caravan listening to the pitter patter of rain on the roof.
In 1998, the next adventure for Jill started when the family moved to Dubai. Whilst a big decision for any family, Jill provided the support and logistical planning ensuring the smooth family relocation. Settling into a new lifestyle takes time, but Jill quickly developed new friends, who would remain with her through her life, and of course continued her passion for horse riding, both riding and working at the local stables. She would often recall the early morning rides through the Arabian Desert as the sun rose as something that she would never forget. Whilst in Dubai, Jill’s animal family also grew, with Colin and Caroline being rescued from the vet hours before they were to be put to sleep. Little did they know at the time how worldly travelled they would become.
During the family’s three years in Dubai, Jill fell pregnant again, and on September 13th 1999, Harriet Jayne was born in Aberdeen, this time rather on the late side. Jill always recalls the flight back to Dubai with Harriet when she was only three weeks old and now apologizes to the many businessmen on the flight who maybe didn’t get the relaxing flight they were expecting.
In August 2001, Jill’s desert adventure came to an end as the family moved back to Aberdeen. This allowed Jill to rekindle her love of caravanning and more family adventures followed over the years. Caroline and Colin also seemed to adapt well to their new surroundings, of the converted steading home sitting on top of a hill overlooking Aberdeen and the North Sea. Megan, her trusty Collie dog, was also a new arrival.
Skiing now became a passion for the Allan family and whilst Jill’s first encounter ended in a broken leg whilst at school, she was not going to let that put her off something which would become an annual expedition for the family across to Norway. Whilst Jill might not be remembered for her speed on the slopes, all admired her grace and elegance on the snow.
On July 27 2003, Jill’s family was complete, with the on time arrival of her son Thomas, (Tom). The following years were spent in Aberdeen watching her precious children grow up and embark on their own school years. Jill also went back to work and worked in Finances for SubSea UK.
In August 2009 Jill started what was to become her last adventure as the family again uprooted and moved overseas, this time westwards to Houston Texas. Such was the organizational skills of Jill, the family was living in their fnew home in Lakes on Eldridge within one month of arriving, the children were settled into schools and new friendships were quickly being developed. Life in Texas over the coming years was good and whilst it took a little time, Jill was soon calling this home.
In April 2013, Jill was told the words that no one wants to hear – you have cancer. Jill was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and so began the most courageous and, at times brutal fight of her life. The medical teams at MD Anderson ensured that they provided Jill with the latest ammunition to help her fight the disease but the battle could only be fought through the most single minded, determined bravery that any person could ever show. Surgery was followed by brain radiation and then chemotherapy. Whilst the side effects were often painful Jill continued to live life, as it should be and to minimize the effect on her beloved children. For the first two years Jill kept the cancer under control and the family were able to have many holidays and fun times together. In fact Jill was able to start voluntary work at Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, which was very demanding work. However, in April 2015, the cancer fought back and two more brain radiation treatments were performed successfully. Despite this the cancer continued to fight back and new chemotherapy treatments were tried without success. Finally Jill started on the recently developed immunology treatment, but unfortunately the cancer had now progressed too much. Jill continued to fight until the very last day and she arranged one final family Christmas together before she passed.
Jill is survived by her husband Keith, daughters Jessica and Harriet, son Tom, parents Jim and Allison, brothers Steven and Craig, mother–in-law Brenda, sister-in-laws Elaine and Susan, brother-in-law Stuart and her beloved pets, Megan, Winston, Caroline and Alli.