Vail Daily obituary: Jackie Graham Hijmans, 1948-2014
Jacqueline “Jackie” Graham Hijmans, age 66, passed away at home in Edwards on Dec. 27 surrounded by her family.
Jackie was born Sept. 28, 1948, in Lafayette, Indiana, to Mary “Virginia” Elliott Graham and Stanley “Pete” Graham. Jackie grew up with her twin brother Richard, and her younger twin siblings Greg and Gail. She attended high school in Redwood City, California, and graduated with honors from the University of California at Davis in 1970. On July 5, 1975, Jackie married Martin “Marty” Hijmans. After starting her career as an educator in Sacramento, California, Jackie and Marty moved to the Vail Valley in the late spring of 1978.
Jackie touched many young lives as a classroom teacher and library media specialist throughout her 34 years of service at Red Sandstone Elementary, Meadow Mountain Elementary and Edwards Elementary. Jackie, “Ms. Hijmans,” will be especially remembered as an advocate for children’s literacy. She was not only a staple in the education community, she was a pillar of strength, innovation, inspiration and professionalism to those with whom she worked and to every child and parent who was fortunate enough to interact with her. Jackie touched the lives of hundreds of Vail Valley children and colleagues throughout the years and will always be remembered for her passion for literacy, her dedication to excellence and her unfailing energy, even when bravely battling her physical constraints.
Jackie was a loving wife and mother to many who enjoyed reading, gardening, eating out, drinking coffee, playing with her grandson and spending time with her family and friends. She cherished social gatherings such as her book club, Delta Kappa Gamma and hosting end-of-the-year school parties.
Jackie passionately supported those around her through tirelessly organizing weddings, baby showers, gatherings and dinners, while simultaneously prioritizing her family. She never missed an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues or with her family and was always fully present and invested with her loved ones, of which there are many. Although impossible to qualify, Jackie’s spirit will be forever cherished by those whom she has left behind.
Jackie had a zest for life like no one else and shared it in every moment. Her laugh, her wit, and her deep passion for living fully will continue to resound despite her physical departure. She was a dear friend — genuine, supportive, loving and always with a smile.
A short service and celebration of her life will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Jan. 24 at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel, 32138 U.S. Highway 6, Edwards. Relatives and friends are welcome and are invited to wear bright colors to honor Jackie’s upbeat and positive spirit.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to The Literacy Project of Eagle County, http://literacyprojecteaglecounty.org/donate/.
Thanks to all of Jackie’s dear friends and the entire staff of the Shaw Regional Cancer Center for your help and support.
Jackie leaves behind her family:
• Husband Marty Hijmans, of Edwards.
• Carey and Elizabeth and grandson Ethan, of Morgan Hill, California.
• Jamie and Kyler, of Denver.
• Brother Richard, of Berkley, California., and Greg, of Ventura, California.
• Sister Gail, of Albion, California.