Published: November 8, 2016
TOWNSEND, MASS — Jill Lukesh, 71, passed away on November 6, due to complications from a recent heart attack.
She was born in Springfield, Mass., and grew up in Brimfield, Mass., as the daughter of Gordon Reid, an auctioneer and founder of the world-renowned Brimfield Antiques Market, and his wife Madelyn. Jill graduated from Framingham State and taught middle school for several years until, in 1975, together with her sister Judy Reid Mathieu, they operated the J & J Promotions outdoor antiques show.
Originally started by their late father in 1959 at their Auction Acres field, the market spawned the thrice-annual mega-market that draws hundreds of antiques dealers and thousands of shoppers to the more than 20 fields flanking a mile-long stretch of Route 20 every May, July and September.
Both Jill and Judy grew up with antiques in their back yard. In a New York Times profile of “The Girls,” as Jill and Judy were known in the trade, Jill recalled her father’s first show, saying “I had a booth at it. I was 13 years old. My father put it together with an old-fashioned sleigh and antiques. It was quite a thing. There was a sign on an old breadboard with a painted thistle done by a local artist, and it said ‘Jill Reid Antiques.’ I still have it.”
In the profile, Jill described her father’s vision of wanting to “bring together all of his antiques friends” and of his travels around New England to recruit dealers to bring their merchandise out of their shops and join his fledgling show, modeled on the Parisian flea market.
Jill Lukesh leaves her husband of 49 years, Pete, as well as their pug, Nemo and tabby cat Einstein. Per her wishes, there will be no calling hours or service. Jill will be cremated.
The Anderson Funeral Home, 250 Main Street, Townsend, is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in her name to a local animal rescue organization.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm