Clara Hill, age 88, went home to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ on September 22, 2022. Clara Elizabeth Baker was born on October 4, 1933 to Russell and Ama Belle Baker in Kansas, Ohio. She was the eldest of six children. They lived on a forty acre family farm in Seneca County. She graduated in 1951 from Bettsville High School. Her graduating class consisted of 11 boys and 2 girls. She was the editor of the school newsletter and the yearbook. In her class prophecy, it was predicted that by 1961 she would be married and living in Texas – which came true!
She was also cheerleader and liked to swim. She worked part time at a local drug store in the soda fountain area where we believe she began her love for ice cream. She met David Earl Hill, Sr. around about her senior year and they were married shortly after on June 30, 1951. They had four children, David Jr. in 1952, Suzette in 1959, Dennis in 1960, and Sherry in 1962.
When they were first married, Dave worked for the railroad for a few years. Then together, they started a taxi cab business in the town of Fostoria, Ohio. That business seemed to do well at the beginning, but after several years, it started to fail. In the fall of 1961, they decided to close the business and start over again by moving to Donna, Texas.
During their first few years of living in Texas, Dave worked as an auto or tractor parts salesman at several local businesses in Weslaco. In the mid to late 1960’s, they had the opportunity to buy French’s, a local small engine and bicycle shop. Together they ran that business until her husband, Dave, passed away in September of 2002. She continued to run the business with the help of her son, Dennis, until 2018. That’s when she needed to retire because of health issues and passed the business on to her son, Dennis.
In the 1970’s, Dave and Clara joined the Weslaco Elks Lodge. They became devoted members. They loved the camaraderie and loved helping with the fund raising activities which provided assistance for special needs children. The Lodge became their home away from home.
Clara worked six days a week until the age of 84. What a lady! During this time she also volunteered to help as the cashier with several fund raisers each week put on by the Weslaco Elks Lodge. She became a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority and was the chapter treasurer until about 2019. She also played Bingo several nights each week and tended to win quite often. We have no idea how she had so much energy. Maybe it was because of the handful of herbal supplements that she took with each meal?
In 2007, she also started attending the Weslaco First United Methodist Church. Just like everything else she committed to, once she started, she never missed. So now she did not even have Sundays to sleep late.
In 2018, Clara began having health problems which affected her mobility. Her granddaughter, Melissa Doss, was the first one to step up and her help through this time in her life.
Starting near the beginning of 2019, Clara had three other ladies come in to help her. They were Mari Avila, Carmen Cruz, and Blanca Flores. They became her companions as well as her caretakers until she finally needed more professional help. That’s when she moved to Donna Assisted Living in December of 2021.
The family is very grateful to Melissa, Mari, Carmen, and Blanca not only for the 24/7 care they provided, but also for their dependability and love. We are also very grateful to Donna Assisted Living for providing her a private room so that the family could come by and visit anytime during the day. This made it very convenient for our family to spend time with her.
Clara is preceded in death by her parents, Russell and Ama Belle Baker, and her husband, David E. Hill, Sr. She is survived by her sisters, Arlene Long, Belva Green, Sue Kelbly, Grace Sholl, and her brother Lee Baker, and also her children & their spouses, David Hill, Jr. (Ninfa), Suzette Moncus (Keene), Dennis Hill (Kendall), and Sherry Walker (Curtis), and grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Gary Ancelin, Bobby Gatton, Brent Kennedy, Mark Watson, Bob Watson, and Jerry Wilson.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Texas Elks Children’s Services or the “In His Steps Shoe Bank” charity for needy children at the Weslaco First United Methodist Church.