Nature 36


Jill Van Alstyne

July 30, 1937 ~ June 30, 2018 (age 80)

Born and raised in Glendale, California, Jill was a strong independent spirit who radiated enthusiasm and kindness. If she knew you, she believed in your dreams, even if they were seemingly impractical. She was driven in her pursuits and dedicated to helping others. Over her nearly 81 years she flourished as a realtor, restaurateur, teacher, mentor and volunteer.

After earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Education from UCLA in the 1950s, she set off to make the world a better place. Her experience as a typewriting teacher at University High in Los Angeles landed her at IBM, leading district typewriter education programs. The position brought her to Detroit, Michigan, where she settled in Birmingham and married John S. Van Alstyne. The newlyweds moved to Harbor Springs in 1970 to open the Flying Dutchman, the bustling fine-dining restaurant of the 1970s and ‘80s. In the mid-‘80s Jill reinvented herself as a single mother and realtor, soon to become a top agent in the area earning Platinum Club status and a Lifetime Achievement award with ReMax. After selling for several agencies, Jill partnered to open Harbor Springs Realty in 2004, and finally hung up her keys in 2012.

Jill’s love for Harbor Springs drove her passionate support of local businesses, artists and organizations. She was a visionary and dedicated much of her life to realizing dreams for the community. Perry Farm Village, the High School Tennis facility, the High School STRIVE program, and the dog park were some of her most beloved creations. She was proud to receive the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce award for both beautification and restoration, and the Distinguished Volunteer award from Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. She served as President on many area boards including the Women’s Resource Center, Villages of Hillside, Perry Farm Village, Christ Child Organization, Emmet County Board of Realtors, and the First Community Bank. She was an Elder and a Deacon and enjoyed playing in the bell choir at the First Presbyterian Church.

Jill Van Alstyne of Harbor Springs was 80 when she passed away on June 30, 2018. She was preceded in death by her parents Karsten and Thelma Eriksmoen, and is survived by her brother John Paul Eriksmoen, daughter Laura (Michael) Kirchner, grandson Van Kirchner and many loving and supportive friends.

Please join us for a Celebration of Jill’s Life at the First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs on Saturday August 25, 2018 at 2pm. If you wish to make a donation in memory of Jill, please consider the Women’s Resource Center,

Donations may be made to:

Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan
423 Porter Street, Petoskey MI 49770

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