Jill McClelland passed away on August 8, 2022, at the age of 79.
She is survived by her son, Joseph McClelland; two daughters, Cindy Witthofft Ard, Pamela (Scott) Artman; special cousin, Gloria Rufkahr; numerous beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her father, Wilford Brewer; mother, Gertrude Baker Brewer; husband, James "Jack" McClelland; son, Michael McClelland; daughter, Donna McClelland Stillman.
Jill was a kind, vivacious soul who left a positive, peaceful impression on everyone she met. She looked on the bright side of life and was often quite comical. Her faith was very strong.
On August 2, 1965, Jill married James “Jack” McClelland, giving rise to an incredible power couple whose inspirational, carefree, true love endured past the time of Jack’s death in 2008.
Jill worked at Monsanto for several years during her young adult life. She ceased employment there to start a family and raise her children. Late in life, Jill worked part-time in the firearms department at Rural King in Wentzville.
In 1975, Jill and Jack started the New Melle Gun Shop in a small shed in their backyard. The business soon required more space, and a bigger building was built behind their home. Together, they owned and operated the successful business for 35 years. Jill spent most of her time in the shop running the counter and handling paperwork, while Jack devoted the bulk of his time gunsmithing in the back of the building. Jill could effortlessly identify and break down any gun she was handed. Her extensive firearm knowledge was well revered. Jill and Jack’s teamwork, camaraderie, and infectious personalities attracted countless, dedicated customers, many of whom frequently spent hours in the gun shop to simply spend time with the beloved gun shop owners and enjoy what Jill dubbed “The Jack and Jill Show!” Jill shared her vast firearm knowledge by organizing and leading classes at the First Baptist Church of Wentzville, teaching women to safely use their gun in self-defense.
She was an extreme animal lover who, for the better part of her life, relished time spent riding her mule. After losing Jack, she shared her home with several adored dogs and cats. Jill loved taking her dogs for walks and bringing them along on nearly every car ride she took. Jill also found solace tending her coy fishpond.
Jill found pleasure singing, flower gardening, crafting mosaic bird houses, and reading books by the dozens. She was a longtime member of the choir at the First Baptist Church of Wentzville and frequently held rehearsals in her home. Jill also spent many years volunteering as a Sunday School teacher at the same church.
She had a special love for the elderly. She was a former member of Light Bearers Home Care, an organization that provides quality, in-home health care to home bound seniors.
Jill was an avid outdoors man. She loved to hike and was a skillful hunter. Jill typically called in turkeys using only her mouth, which produced a sound more realistic than any mechanical product on the market.
Jill beat breast cancer after being diagnosed and undergoing treatment a couple of years ago.
Her father taught her to ride a motorcycle when she was quite young. She was immediately hooked on riding. Jill proclaimed her “comfort speed” as 90 mph. She was an enthusiastic rider who rode her 2005 Honda hard and well. She always wore a big smile when the wind was in her face. A chance encounter with a member of the Cross Road Riders #554 Union, Missouri Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA) united Jill with an invaluable opportunity to join the club and participate in their mission. Jill received her club patch in August 2020. Her club membership facilitated Jill’s participation in a bible study prison ministry. Jill’s faithful soul was blessed to depart this life doing the one thing she loved the most. As she so often said, we must “keep the faith!”Visitation: Monday, August 15, 2022, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Pitman Funeral Home, 1545 Wentzville Parkway, Wentzville, MO 63385.