Biography: Mrs. Gloria Hill was a wonderful and caring mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. She was born in Queens, New York to Harry Baird and Inez Smith on April 18, 1917. She and her sister Hazel Baird grew up as native New Yorkers. Her parents Mama and Papa Baird were natives of Jamaica and Barbados, respectively.
Gloria grew up in New York City before the Civil Rights Movement; before color televisions and cell phones. She has seen decades of change in her lifetime.
She attended Jamaica High School and graduated early. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University. Her Master of Arts in English was awarded by Columbia University. She became a trained professor in English where she plied her skills at predominately HBCUs.
While in college she joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Gloria was the embodiment of that prestigious sorority’s call to “Give, Lead and Empower.”
In 1943, Gloria married Peter Hill, Sr. who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Peter became a U.S. war veteran with a rank of Sergeant. He distinguished himself with four medals of honor in the war that defeated Hitler.
Peter and Gloria’s children are Candace, Deborah and Peter, III. Their two granddaughters Lori and Eve are succeeded by Sierra, Skye, Storm and Sage. Gloria's two great-great grandsons are Jacob and Blake.
After her teaching career ended, Gloria continued to serve the people, working for the New York City Housing Authority and volunteering for Habitat for the Humanities, securing affordable living space for those in need. She taught reading and literacy to adults at the Bridgehampton Childcare Center during her retirement. Throughout her life she loved and became a great bridge player with many trophies, from New York to Barbados. Through her quiet example, Gloria advanced the idea that a strong faith, a
loving family, pride in community are the foundation for a thriving society. On her 100th birthday, the town board of Southampton joined family and friends to celebrate and dedicate April 18, 2017, as “Gloria Evelyn Hill day” which was a wonderful honor and memory for a lifetime.
Gloria is the true matriarch and “diamond of our family.” She will be missed forever. God bless her and let her spirit fly free with the Angels.