Millicent Norris Hill

Millicent Norris Hill, the middle daughter of E. Albert and Hazel Baskerville Norris, was born on August 13, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. She went to her reward with the Father in heaven Friday July 2, 2010. Millicent was raised in the neighborhood of Jamaica in the borough of Queens, New York. Graduating from high school at 16, she was both a scholar and an athlete (playing basketball and being selected Most Valuable Member of the Girls Varsity) while participating in numerous activities which enriched her high school and community, including being secretary of a school honor society, a member of the Student Council, a two year member of the yearbook staff, a member of the Leaders Club and teaching Sunday School at the Lemuel Haynes Congregational Church. Millicent received her Bachelor of Arts from Queens College in 1956 and her Masters in Social Work from Smith College in 1959. At Queens College, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. After receiving her Master’s Degree, Millicent moved to the Boston area where she worked as a clinical social worker for the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. During that time she met Gerald “Gerry” Hill. They were married on February 6, 1960 and remained married until Gerry died on March 31, 1994. To their union, three children were born, David Anthony, Denise Millicent and Diedre Hazel Pauline. Millicent was a trailblazer. She was the first African-American woman to receive tenure at the Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work, where she taught from 1974 until 1985. In addition to her position at Simmons, Millicent taught at the graduate schools of Social Work at Boston College and Boston University and served as a part time faculty member at her graduate school Alma Mater, Smith College. Millicent’s life was spent in the pursuit of learning. In addition to her career and responsibilities at home, she was enrolled in a doctorate program at Boston University when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was unable to continue. After retiring from Simmons in 1985, Millicent continued a private practice in clinical social work until the late 1980s when she was no longer able to do so. While pursuing her career and raising three children, Millicent made time to give back to her community. Among her many contributions, she served as Church Clerk at the Ebenezer Baptist Church for a number of years during the 1970s. She was a charter member of the Rho Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a member of the Newton Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, and a member of the Black Citizens of Newton (BCON). Millicent’s courageous battle with multiple sclerosis began with her diagnosis in 1981. Despite her illness, she maintained dignity, continued to read voraciously (she was particularly fond on Alfred Hitchcock murder mysteries), encouraged and inspired her children as each of them graduated from college and graduate school, and was a positive influence on many who came in contact with her at the Boston Home, her home from August 1993 until her death. Millicent was preceded in death and is now reunited with her parents, E. Albert and Hazel B. Norris, her sisters Eileen Carroll and Evelyne Payne, her husband Gerald Hill and her son-in-law Hugh Day. She leaves to cherish her memory and continue her legacy her son David Anthony Hill  and his wife Lynn, daughter Denise Millicent Day, daughter Deidre Hazel Pauline Hill Butler and her husband Alan, grandchildren Millicent Audrey Day, David Gerald Hill, Emmanuel Norris Robert Butler, Stephen Ingersoll Ellis Butler and Gabrielle Renee Hill, step-grandchildren Christopher Burch, Alan G. Butler, Jr., Harold Butler and Ashley Butler, a godson, Michael Daniel Price, many nieces and nephews and a host of other family and friends. The family will receive friends Saturday July 10 from 10 AM to 12 Noon with a Celebration of Life to follow at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church, 157 West Springfield Street, Boston. Interment Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National MS Society, Greater New England Chapter, PO Box 84594, Boston, MA 02284-5945.