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Life Story: Jill Gordon Szabo, 51; Lifetime Dedication To Music

Jill Gordon Szabo, daughter of Samuel Gordon and Patricia Kuhlthau Gordon, was born December 14, 1969, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Jill was a lifelong resident of Franklin Township and peacefully passed on November 30, 2021 at the age of 51. Jill was a communicant of St. Matthias Church in Somerset.

She began her education at St. Matthias School in Somerset, continued her secondary education at Mount St. Mary Academy in Scotch Plains, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from Providence College in 1992.

She dedicated her life to music and began a lifetime commitment to music ministry as a high school freshman playing piano with the St. Matthias Folk Group. Her commitment to the Catholic Church and her musical talent led her to continue her ministry in music throughout her life. She was instrumental in the development and creation of a new young adult choir at St. Matthias called Revelation. Jill was often consulted on many musical projects throughout the church, school, and community. She served as the co-director of the Metuchen Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Beginning her career as a benefits consultant for Merck, Jill then took time off to start her family. While caring for her family she continued her career in music at her home parish as the Assistant Music Director. She then returned to St. Matthias School as the music teacher where she formed the first school handbell choir. Jill eventually started her own piano studio and taught private lessons. Her most recent employment was at St. Mary of Ostrabrama in South River as the parish Music Director.
In her free time, Jill pursued her interests in cooking, gardening, and genealogy. She was an adventurous cook who loved to search for new recipes to try and looked forward to preparing meals as a sign of her love for family and friends. Her flower garden brought her much joy as she spent many hours designing, planting, and maintaining it. She spent much time researching family history by looking through church and military records, and trips to many cemeteries. Jill was also an avid cat lover and looked forward to spending her evenings relaxing with her cat Gracie.

Jill was very involved in her community and volunteered with many organizations. She enjoyed her time as a volunteer for the Kendall Park Rescue Squad as an EMT and organizing the annual flower sale for Boy Scout Troop 156. While her son attended St. Joseph High School, Jill volunteered as the treasurer of the St. Joseph High School Mother’s Club and with the school’s theatre company.

Jill is survived by her husband of twenty-nine years, Randy Szabo and her son Zach Szabo, both of Somerset; her parents Sam and Patricia Gordon of Somerset; one brother Mark Gordon and his wife Kim of Somerset, four nieces, eight nephews, and many extended family and dear friends.

Visiting will be held on Sunday December 5, 2021, from 2-6 PM and on Monday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street in Somerset. Funeral services will begin on Tuesday at 9:15AM at the funeral home followed by a 10 AM funeral Mass at St. Matthias Church in Somerset. Interment will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery in the Middlebush section of Somerset.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jill’s name can be made to the American Cancer Society at www.main.acsevents.org/goto/jill_gordon_szabo or the Franklin Township Animal Shelter.

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