Here are some beautiful thoughts that have poured into Jillian’s Family:
(if you would like to add anything to this site, please email your memories to [email protected])
Some loves are not meant to be separated. It is so hard to image I would be saying goodbye to Jillian so soon after Gary left us. I first met Jillian in 1982 working as a camera operator on “Raw Force” in the Philippines. She had a wonderful smile and attitude that remained her entire life. I’d worked with Gary, new his work well, and I was thrilled when they met and fell in love. My life was richer for having known them.
All the Best,
I was stunned to hear of Jillian’s passing, and I am very, very sorry she is no longer with us. I knew Gary since the late 1960’s, via my 50-year friendship with Curtis Harrington. I’d met Jillian in the late 1970’s, quite separately, and the our paths crossed over the years. Last three times I saw Jillian was, first, at a party on Rodeo a couple years ago, with Gary and Curtis. She looked extraordinarlly beautiful. Then, sadly, we met again at Curtis’ funeral last year, and again at his Memorial. Jillian was without Gary at this time, and I did hug her and she felt very frail. Jillian, Gary, and Curtis were unique human beings and the world has indeed lost a great measure of richness. I did not know her family, but my heart reaches out to them in this most painful time.
It was with complete shock and profound sorrow that I learned today of Jillian’s passing. How could such a lovely light be extinguished so soon?
Jillian and I first met in Las Vegas, where we were filming The Bob Hope Special, naming us two of “The Ten Most Promising Actresses of 1975.” In my mind’s eye, I can still remember watching from the wings as she made her entrance onstage with such innate poise and gracefulness. I recall thinking that she was, by far, the most beautiful of us all. Yet, it wasn’t only her radiant beauty that I remember, it was also her sweetness. Subsequently, I had the opportunity of working with Gary, who was cinematographer on a film I made with Jack Palance entitled, “One Man Jury.” A few years ago – perhaps after his illness had begun – I ran into Gary at an autograph show. It was only then that I learned he and Jillian had married. I remember saying to him, “You married the most beautiful girl on earth!” He returned the next day with a copy for me of the film we had done, and we promised to get together. But, of course, we never did.
…..and now, it is too late. When last I saw Jillian, her face reflected deep sadness and exhaustion…but the beautiful sweetness remained. I watched her as she sat in the darkened theatre, listening to familiar voices memorialize the husband she’d lost. Who could have predicted that the next time…would be “her” time…and so soon.
My heartfelt sympathy to all her friends and family. May your hearts be peaceful soon, again.
Pamela Susan Shoop
Jillian was the nicest person I have ever known.
I am crying as I am writing this…Jillian was…I can’t even say it…she was getting better and trying to get her life without Gary on…
Fred worked with Gary for over 25 years and they became our best of friends. Please, please, let us know about the memorial.
And thank you so much for letting us know…
Kim and Fred Ray
What a shock. I actually knew Gary since I was 17 years old and had the pleasure of getting to know Jillian.
Give my love to her family and please let me know when the services are.
My love goes out especially to Sean and Chris at this time. Jillian was their champion and her love for our dear
Gary legendary. My immediate reaction through the tears was ‘ she has gone to join gary..couldnt
live without him..he has called her” so now it is a fairy story to be told in years to come even
if now and the recent passed has been immediate reality.
Iloved and respected Gary through my friendship and love with April.. and Jillian who loved and supported Gary and Chris so much
will be admired and missed by many…
May they rest in peace and dance in heaven together for evermore. with love and respect..
I am so sorry for your loss. Jillian and Gary we loved by us all and will be deeply missed. Please let me know when services are scheduled.
To all of Jillian’s family and friends especially her closest; Mom Patricia and Sister’s and all of the Nieces and Nephews, friends and extended family of
Jillian Kesner Graver.
This is Chris Graver’s mom, April and My heart fell when I opened up an e-mail from Peter Golding, with the forwarded message of the sudden loss of Jillian.
Yet, there is a magic in the Universe this day and for all eternity, and that is the thought and feeling of Jillian and Gary dancing in Heaven for all time, together,
as Peter expressed. She missed Gary so. There was a dream-time in which it shall always be known in the Universe’s as “Two Doves of Love in Eternal Light”
Gary Foss Graver and his beloved Jillian Kesner Graver and how they left us with their imprints on being loving human beings!
I had just shared a glimpse of magical memories of Gary and Jillian together with her over the phone in end October and how sweet it was how much Love she
had for Chris as more than a step-mom and missed speaking with him too, I can’t even imagine how Chris will take this news.
My family and I send our deepest heartfelt condolences to you all at this time. Jillian Loved Chris and Sean too…also Sylvester Gary’s nephew. but she really did
miss her beloved Gary. We spoke of all the beautiful soft and gentle memories they shared and it was so healing. She was excited and looking forward to coming
to visit with Chris and asked me to please let him know how she was still grieving and that was why she hadn’t been in touch, not that she didn’t love or care about
him. She had shared with me of her new role in which she was the now acting emissary of Gary and traveling to speak for the first time. We made plans to get
together and stay closer in touch and to go together to visit Chris.
May Jillian and her beloved Gary rest as “One Spirit” for all time together. May there be a Healing for this sadness to return in time as an expression of the Unconditional Love they shared with us all by being examples of the same to each other!
With My Heart Full of Love for you all!
April De Silva, Christopher Graver and our entire family from Our Hearts to Yours!
I am shocked to hear about the death of Jillian. It is so unexpected, and I regret that I was not able to go to LA and to meet her after Gary
passed away. We stated in contact by email, and I hoped to be in January/February at the West coast and to visit her…
I express my condolences to you. And I’ll also keep her in memory as a very warmhearted woman as well as a good actress in movies and on television.
It was so touching to see how she cared for Gary the last time when I met the two, in September 2007 in LA, just when they were moving to their new home.
I just can’t believe it. i am in Paris and so sad. she was such a great lady. i loved her and gary.
All my condolences
What sad news. It wasn’t so long ago that we all attended Gary’s memorial service.
I know Jillian because Gary has been my son’s professional godfather ever since my son first started working in the moviemaking business and eventually got me to work on some of his films. All three of us dearly loved Gary and Jillian. They were amongst the kindest and gentlest people I have ever met. In a way I am happy that Jillian was not left alone in this world for too long and opted for an early ticket to Heaven where she and Gary can share their love for one another once again. I don’t know when Jillian died but I thought of her sometime last week later in the evening. For no reason that I was aware of the thought of her crossed my mind. I was wondering how that she was doing by herself without Gary. I hope that she was reasonably happy after she lost the love of her life.
Thank you for passing on the sad news so that we can mourn with you and send lots of positive energy to propel Jillian into the higher spheres of Heaven.
With best regards and my sincere condolences,
like an older brother to me. Their relationship was an inspiration, a model of love, caring and respect we can all take to heart.
Jillian and Gary came to visit me and my family her on the east coast in March of 2006. We toasted Gary’s having passed the five-year milestone of cancer
recovery. The world seemed to be finally ready to let the two of them relax after a grueling period and get on with a happy life together. But life didn’t follow the
script as it was written and the sequel was not what we all hoped.
When I last spoke with Jillian a few months ago, there was still the sound of exhaustion in her voice from the experience of caring for Gary through the last
rough stages. She still sounded a bit lost from it all, but she told me she was getting ready to move on with her life as best she could.
I suppose the strain of the last 16 or so months may have taken more of a toll on her than Jillian realized and left her vulnerable with a lowered resistance.
We can only be glad for her that this end, as you say, was not protracted and painful like the one she had earlier worked so hard to ease for the man she loved
Jillian was a beautiful person, full of grace, humor, talent, intelligence, profound respect for others and innate sensitivity. Your family is blessed, as are her friends,
to have experienced her. I always observed that, in life, your aunt had an almost other worldly quality and indefinable aura. If angels truly have wings, Jillian is
soaring – and smiling.
Please give all your family my deepest sympathies for this tragic loss.
I am Glenn Jacobson’s sister. I am so sorry to hear this very sad news. Glenn was best friends with Gary and Jillian the entire time they were together. (He and Gary were best friends for past 50 years)… I have met Jillian and had dinner with both of them when they were in Portland several years ago. Since then, Jillian and I have kept in touch over the emails.
She was one of the nicest people on this planet. I know my brother will be devastated and shocked. He spent a couple of weeks with her when they went to a film festival in China, I believe. I thought it was wonderful that she was trying to carry on with Gary’s work.
She was so sad after Gary passed away. Now they will be together in a better place.
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Barbara and Xavier Bauser
To Jillian’s family,
What sad, sad news. I extend to you my deepest sympathy. What a beautiful lady and spirit she was.
I am the writer and executive producer of the film Ray of Sunshine and that is where I first met Jillian. I wish I had gotten to know her better.
Please send details on the memorial.
May God’s love and blessings surround you all at this time,