The Life of Den Jilot 1947-2022

by Napa Institute
Published In August 12, 2022

Dennis L.  Jilot


The Napa Institute celebrates the life of dear friend Den Jilot. Den passed away suddenly on July 25, 2022. The morning he passed, Den attended Mass that morning at the Meritage Resort and Spa, remained in prayer through the Rosary on the way to his home in Healdsburg (Sonoma County) CA, and passed away with a brown scapular around his neck. Before he passed, Fr. Luke Mata, a regular chaplain at the Napa Institute, dispensed last rites and an apostolic blessing. Den and his beloved wife Lynne were close friends of Tim and Steph Busch, who were all present as he passed.

Den founded the Napa Institute Guild. As the founder of the Guild, he oversaw several initiatives of the Institute’s many ministries. He served on Napa Institute’s audit committee and was one of three independent board members of the Napa Institute Foundation, which is a supporting organization for the Institute. He loved the mission of the Napa Institute and endorsed Napa to many of his friends. He attended all of the summer Napa Institute conferences and became a friendly supporter of The Busch School of Business at Catholic University of America, FOCUS, the Augustine Institute, to name others. He and Lynne supported Napa in countless ways and attended every event.

Den and Lynne attended many of the Napa Institute Experiences, including participating in the May 2022 Rome, Malta, and Sicily excursion.

Den also became a steward of the Papal Foundation and served on its board and investment committee. While visiting the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he made a gift in the name of James Cardinal Harvey, a notable alumnus of the NAC, and current Archpriest of St. Paul Outside the Walls, one of the four major Basilicas in the church. The family’s charitable support went beyond those listed here.

A Rosary was held August 3rd at the home of Tim and Steph Busch in Orange County led by Fr Abbot Eugene Hayes, Fr Justin Ramos and Fr Ambrose Criste of the Norbertine Abbey in Orange County, CA. Fr Robert Spitzer, co-founder and President of the Napa Institute, gave a reflection on eternal salvation. Fifty close friends attended, many of whom were Napa Institute attendees. The funeral and internment were held on August 4th with Cardinal Harvey presiding, along with Fr. Abbot Eugene Hayes from St. Michael’s Abbey, Bishop Muggenborg from Reno, NV, who Den and Lynne sponsored at this year’s conference. Also con-celebrating were Fr. Ambrose Criste, Fr. Thomas Nelson, Fr John McLaughlin,  Fr Angelos Sebastian, Vicar General of the Diocese of Orange representing Bishop Vann, Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J., and Fr Patrick Moses all who were friends of the Jilots.

Den and Lynne were residents of Reno, NV but also spent time in Orange County, California and supported many local ministries, including Christ Cathedral, St. Michael’s Norbertine Abbey, Obria Pregnancy Centers and Covenant House in Los Angeles.

Den was married to Lynne for 54 years. He is survived by his son Jay and daughter-in-law Cassie, grandchild Lauren, and brother Richard. He had just buried his mother Anne one year prior at age 96 in Green Bay, WI.

Watch the funeral Mass at St. Michael’s Abbey here and the tribute to Den Jilot by Tim Busch at the 2022 Napa Institute Summer Conference here.

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