JaNeil Cillessen
JaNeil Cillessen
JaNeil Cillessen
JaNeil Cillessen
JaNeil Cillessen
JaNeil Cillessen

Obituary of JaNeil Yvonne Cillessen

JaNeil Yvonne Cillessen, of Arvada, CO, passed away unexpectedly from a ruptured artery in her back on October 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, NV, with her beloved husband and children by her side. She was 70 years old. Her family is deeply saddened by her sudden death. JaNeil was a kind, loving soul that will be missed and remembered by the many lives she touched. She was the loving and caring wife to John for 54 years. The amazing mom to Valerie, Shane and Tara. The strong willed, yet loving and helpful daughter to Jackie and sister to Kathy, Char, and Jeanne. The preeminent animal lover, cat breeder and wildlife seeker. The unstoppable home maker, care taker, and yard worker. The best cook/chef/baker in town. And most importantly the most caring friend many people have ever had.

At 16 years old she fell in love with the boy who would stay with her for the rest of her life. They started a family and struggled to make ends meet for years. John became a contractor and JaNeil took care of the business while raising 3 children. They had their share of ups and downs, and never gave up on each other or their family. They became involved in a Newcomers / Pinochle group and made a lot of friends. JaNeil began breeding Persian cats because of her love for animals, and added Himalayans, and eventually Ragdoll cats too, among others. She and John traveled the world showing her prized cats for several years, meeting many people and making many life-long friends. They joined the Elks Lodge and made more friends. She enjoyed playing cards and nurturing close relationships with a lot of wonderful people. They bought a motorhome and began traveling for leisure and made even more friends.

JaNeil and her family faced a lot of difficult times and she was always the glue that held the family together through those trials. Her strength and determination were unmatched, while being the gentle, loving advisor and problem solver the whole family needed. She was everyone’s rock. JaNeil was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis years ago, and has suffered with pain and taken many medications for that, and developed more medical issues over the last few years. Despite the incredible pain she experienced, she did not give in. She continued to be the unstoppable home maker and care taker that she always has. She went into overdrive to help Valerie battle cancer for 5 years and suffered that terrible loss. She worked hard to care for her mother, who experienced trauma that resulted in her moving into a nursing home with full time care. She also took very good care of her husband who has had back surgeries, balance difficulty, and battled and beat throat cancer. She was always there for the rest of the family who all relied on her strength, love, and wisdom in different ways.

JaNeil completely re-landscaped their yard recently, and took great pride in that, although it was very taxing on her physical health. She also made sure to plan a lot of trips with close friends and family, as she continued to love nature, and animals. Her favorite place was Rocky Mountain National Park where she loved to see the Elk and other animals. She would escape the stress of life by visiting Estes Park and “Rocky” quite often. She also liked to travel to Cabo, Tucson, and other places. She purchased an RV site in Las Vegas and traveled there a few times. She was enjoying the second week of their month-long trip when she had to cut her trip short. The doctors did everything they could, but it was her time to join her daughter, Valerie, and the many others that went before her to greet her in heaven.

JaNeil is survived by her mother, Jackie, her loving husband John, her son Shane (Heather), her daughter Tara (Saul) Musquiz, her grand-daughters Chelsea, Veronica, Brianna, Brittany, and Katelynn, and grandsons Sean and Hunter, and five 4-legged kids. On that fateful day, JaNeil shed her earthly pain and made a graceful exit, surrounded by the love she had nurtured all her life. We celebrate her amazing life at the Westminster Elks Lodge, where she loved to play darts on Thursdays, and help with bingo.

The service begins at 11 AM on November 2, 2023 with a reception to follow. Flowers will be accepted November 2nd at the Westminster Elks Lodge, or please consider sending a donation to the Cat Care Society.


Cat Care Society: https://www.coloradogives.org/donate/catcaresociety

Denver Dumb Friends Leauge: https://www.ddfl.org

Angels With Paws: https://angelswithpaws.net/

American Cancer Society: https://donate.cancer.org/

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of JaNeil Cillessen, please visit Tribute Store

Funeral Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Thursday, November 2, 2023
Westminster Elks Lodge
3850 Elk Dr
Westminster, Colorado, United States
(303) 429-2227
Reception to follow
Share Your Memory of