ONEONTA – A true Delaware County farm girl, Jill Kathleen MacCracken, was born on Aug. 23, 1950, to Frank and Peg (Moore) MacCracken in Stamford and raised in her beloved Charlotte Valley on Brick House Farm, along with her brothers, Jack and Frank, Jr.
Her days on the farm made her tough and ingrained in her heart the importance of family. Upon graduating from Charlotte Valley Central School, she went on to give her heart to other things: teaching, Clark Morris and Jesus.
After graduating from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelors in Education, Jill married her best friend in 1972. Little did she know where their adventures would lead; she was just happy to be going there with Clark. They began their family with Bridget, then Ben, and then a turning point came. Clark and Jill and the MacCracken family found Jesus.
The past became the past, and a new future unfolded in front of them. Word of Faith Fellowship was birthed in the Morris living room. Oneonta Community Christian School followed closely thereafter, and Jill gave her time, talent and treasure fully to these two “projects.” They filled her life with purpose, and she said she was never happier than when she was teaching at OCCS.
With the advent of the school came Clark and Jill’s third and final child, Elizabeth. Their family was complete; Jill’s impact on her community was just beginning.
If you were one of the lucky ones to be her friend, her student or to spend your time at the Morris home, you understand what family and unconditional love really look like because of her. Jill held everyone around her to the highest standard and planted seeds of faith and excellence in all she knew. She was the life of every party, and usually, she was the one throwing it.
When Jill retired from teaching at OCCS, she never stopped investing in those around her. Her focus just widened. She took on new roles as mother-in-law and Grandma giving her whole heart to the next generation of her family. Always she remained the center of her husband and children’s lives.
Jill believed humbly that her legacy would be her kids, but those in our community know that her legacy extends as far out as the depth of her love.
Jill’s final years of life were a different sort of journey. She would tell you that cancer gave her purpose. She found her voice once again and shared Jesus’ love intentionally with every person God placed in the path of her treatment. She only had a few regrets during this time. She regretted not being well enough to go back and teach at her beloved school, not having her hands in her precious flower beds, and not swimming with her grandkids in the pool. You see, Jill always said, “Whatever you’re doing…it isn’t enough.” You can always do more. Her children will tell you that Jill always “had to go get something done”. Maybe all along she recognized that there is never enough time. She left this earth wishing she could do more.
On Dec. 5, 2018, Jill received the ultimate Christmas gift. She was welcomed into the arms of her Savior and left her tired, weak body behind. She now stands with those who have gone on before her, Patty Ann and Tavy, Aunt Bobby and Uncle George, and other giants of the faith, a part of the great cloud of witnesses looking down on those of us left behind.
Those of us left behind will celebrate the life of Jill with calling Hours from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Word of Faith Christian Family Center at 6568 State Highway 7, Maryland, NY.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Word of Faith Christian Family Center. A private interment will be held at the Schenevus Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Oneonta Christian Academy (formerly OCCS/LCA), 158 River St., Oneonta, NY 13820.
Condolences to Jill’s family may be made at, www.lhpfuneralhome.com Arrangements are with Oneonta’s only family-owned funeral home, Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono at 51 Dietz Street