Eleanor Zachman Hill November 26, 1934 - January 31, 2020

Age 85, died on January 31st, 2020. Born in St. Paul, Ellie was a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota. In 1956 she married Larry Hill and taught in the St. Paul Public Schools until leaving to welcome their first child. She nurtured her family with a steady, loving hand. Blessed with raising six children, she was a superb referee and found clever ways to busy their minds and bodies.  Always full of energy, she loved reading, sewing, flowers, yardwork and being outdoors. She had a special way with children that brought out the best in them, and they in her. The effect of her boundless love, dedication, and care for family will live on for generations. Ellie was preceded in death by her husband L. Lawrence Hill, parents Arnold and Genevieve Zachman and siblings Carol (Markert), James, Albert, and Jeffrey. Survived by sister, Suzanne Peyton, daughter Vicki (Dave) Erickson, sons David (Linda), Bruce (Tina), John (Dorothy), Andrew (Megan) and Christopher; grandchildren Amy, Tom and Neil Erickson; Brian (Kayla), Jesse, Scott, Nick, Sarah, Laura, Davin, Matthew, Aidan, Lucia, and Perrin Hill. Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 AM Tuesday, Feb 11 at the CHURCH OF ST. MARK, 2001 Dayton Ave., St. Paul.  Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul 4-7 PM Monday, Feb 10 and at church ½ hour prior to Mass. Memorials preferred to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

 

 

Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 AM Tuesday, Feb 11 at the CHURCH OF ST. MARK, 2001 Dayton Ave., St. Paul.  Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul 4-7 PM Monday, Feb 10 and at church ½ hour prior to Mass.

Condolences(3)

  1. REPLY
    John Knox says

    Hello Vicki, Dave, Bruce, John, Andrew, and Christopher. So sad to hear of your mom’s passing. I have fond memories of hockey and wiffle-ball in your back yard and all the other adventures in the neighborhood. Your mom was very patient with us always carousing in your back yard. I hope you are all doing well wherever you are!

  2. REPLY
    Kate Knox Giavanti says

    To all the Hill “kids”. Sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. I have lovely memories of her out working in the garden, and of all the delicious aromas wafting from your kitchen window.

  3. REPLY
    David Verstraete says

    Ellie’s obituary, well written by her children and family, is lovely and accurate. Here’s a different view from that of a rambunctious neighbor:

    During much of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, my Verstraete family and I lived just three houses away from the Hill’s. Throughout my youth, I spent thousands of hours in and just outside the Hill family home. I was also the lucky recipient of countless Ellie-prepared meals, every one delicious.

    The Hill house and yard were favorite go-to centers of activity for us Verstraetes as well as for a multitude of other energetic neighborhood kids. As an example, the Hill’s annual backyard skating rink hosted countless hockey games. My brother Phil often recalls the story of how he shot an errant hockey puck through the Hill’s living room window. The puck, along with a good deal of shattered glass, ended up in Ellie’s lap as she relaxed on their couch with the newspaper. And I, myself shot a water-powered rocket through their kitchen window with similar results. I sometimes feel a bit surprised that their house (and, frankly, all its occupants) survived throughout our years of unintentionally destructive, frenetic, youthful play.

    I was (and am) friends with all six Hill kids. Dave and I were the same age and were especially close. Throughout our grade school and high school days, Dave and his four brothers (Vicki was too wise to become embroiled in our shenanigans) and I were forever inventing new ways to fall into trouble. The dubious activities we pursued together were notably creative and seemingly endless in number. Recollections of these many pursuits, along with their involved Hill family members, remain to this day among the fondest of my memories.

    Yes, much of our high-energy early days unfolded in, on or near the Hill property. Through all this, there was Ellie. I remember her always being just the right distance from us forever aware, vigilant, protective, and maybe most of all, supportive. Ellie somehow kept us all alive during those long summer days while simultaneously allowing us the freedom to be ourselves. She guided us with her easy, confident manner. She was quick to convey boundaries but always with an air of respect, and we knew instinctively to return the same.

    I miss those days. A lot. We enjoyed endless amounts of fun together. And somewhat surprisingly, we all survived. When I look back, I’m deeply thankful to Ellie for the important role she played in that survival. Yes, I’m grateful to her for watching over us and for her years of patience and kindness and for the care she provided to me and to every other neighborhood kid who tornado-ed their way through her yard and through her life. For these and many other reasons, she’s earned a fond forever place in my heart.

    Rest easy, Ellie. The windows are repaired and we’re all being careful.

    David Verstraete

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