Marie Brinkley Hill

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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Queen Mother Marie Brinkley Hill, 102, born Feb. 22, 1921, transitioned on July 9, 2023, in Sentara Obici Hospital, joining her belated husband, Ernest Hill Jr., in their eternal home. She is the daughter of the late Henry and Lelia Jones Brinkley.

She was a full-time housewife and mother of nine children. She’s preceded in death by her son, Joe Louis Hill. She leaves to cherish her beautiful memories four sons, Ernest Hill III (Virginia) of Suffolk, Clyde Hill of Plainfield, N.J., Julius Hill (Carol) Columbia, S.C.; four daughters, Odell Hill of Phillipsburg, N.J, Wendy Hill of Alexandria, Roxanna Thomas dual citizen of Ghana/Minot, N.D., Mary Hill of Suffolk and Veronica Woodard of Windsor; 56 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, 24 great-great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-great-grandchildren. 

Queen Marie was the very essence of servant leadership, recognized as a soldier for education for her words of inspiration to all. Her tenacity and ethics assured her a place at the table where decisions were made that affected her family and community, even while social injustice crept throughout the South.

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In 1963, with God’s grace and mercy Queen Marie Hill was the first to send her children to embrace integration at Chuckatuck Elementary School. As a thriving lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, she played a pivotal role in assuring that The John Yeates High School Junior-Senior Prom was integrated.

She attended the segregated Hobson Graded School in Nansemond County and completed through seventh grade. In 2010 she started the process of earning her GED despite her disabilities, legally blind in one eye and limited use in her right arm. After three and a half years, she passed all her credentials, marched with her class and became a Lifetime Heritage Member of The East Suffolk High School Alumni.

While her accolades are many, she was most proud to be a living encyclopedia that could recite the history of her beloved Village of Hobson Virginia. She was passionate to keep the Village’s integrity alive and well. She was the point of contact for those that wanted to dive deeper into their family history in the Village. 

She was recognized by many for her accomplishments and hard work at the local and state levels, including Resource Volunteer for the Virginia Department of Corrections from 2014 to 2023, Chaplain Officer of Historic Hobson Artesian Well Association Inc. from 2015 to 2023, Certificate of African ancestry certify Marie Hill shares maternal genetic ancestry with Kpelle People living in Liberia, participated in Smithsonian Folklore Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2007 for Historic Hobson Village, certificate of recognition awarded for contributions to her community and service to Macedonia Baptist Church and to the Benevolent Protective Order 2005 Lifetime Member of the Emma V. Kelly Hospitality Club, and recognition of her 102nd birthday given in 2023.

A celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at Macedonia Baptist Church, 8300 Crittenden Road. The Ancestral Ceremony will follow the homegoing celebration. Burial to follow at Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery. Public viewing will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at Crocker Funeral Home. Live stream the homegoing service on Macedonia Baptist Church or Rhoda Young Reporting Live Facebook page.

Please send donations in memory of Queen Marie Hill to Suffolk African American Cultural Society, P.O. Box 6008 Suffolk, VA 23433 or cash app $1921h.