Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 AM EDT
Chapel of Central Wesleyan Church
446 West 40th Street
Holland, MI 49423
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Central Wesleyan Church - Mission Fund
446 West 40th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Life Story / Obituary
To know Violet Hills was to love her, and with ways all her own, she delighted many with her fun-loving nature. Violet was a kind and loving woman. She was artistically inclined, and her teaching style was most definitely hands-on. Yet the most important part of Violet was her love for the Lord and leading a Godly life to the best of her ability. Violet touched many with her warmth and servant’s heart, and she will be lovingly remembered as a woman after God’s own heart.
Marked by a time of prosperity, the Roaring Twenties emerged as a decade of economic growth rich with optimism and innovation. The stock market soared and people everywhere were brimming with hope. Yet in the bustling city of Detroit, Michigan, Frank and Mabel Estelle (Gregory) Pascoe had some exciting news of their own and on September 30, 1927, they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Violet Eleanor into their arms.
Young Violet spent most of her growing up years living in several rental properties where her family made their home on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue. Her father worked as a floor sander to support their thriving household while her mother remained at home as a homemaker. One of fourteen children (five died at young ages), Violet grew up with her brothers, Leonard, Edward “Ted” and Kenneth along with her sisters, Leota, Lorena, Mary, Thelma, and Betty. Throughout her educational years, Violet attended various schools which came to include 13 in all! While the Great Depression cast a shadow of economic hardship, Violet and her family learned to make do and were grateful for their blessings.
During her high school years, Violet worked at several jobs including Fred Saunders, mailing letters for a company and as a waitress at a restaurant located across the street from their apartment. After graduating from Cass Technical High School in January of 1946, Violet went on to work at Michigan Bell Telephone for the next six years before attending college. It was through her extended schooling when Violet came to know a handsome man by the name of Donald Hills. The two met at Fort Wayne Bible College in Indiana where Violet attended for two years before transferring to Nyack Missionary College. Deeply in love, the couple was married on August 14, 1954 in Hudson, Michigan. It wasn’t long after in 1955 when Violet graduated with a BA in Christian Education. Don also followed suit, graduating in 1957.
Violet and Don had hopes of a bright future and together the same desire to become missionaries. At the time they were only accepting those specialized and under the age of 25. Violet and Don were 30, and although disappointing for a fleeting moment, they were certain, "The Lord changed our plans to His plan."
Don initially found work in a factory in Hudson, Michigan before being asked to pastor a church in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Their lives were made complete when blessed with the births of their two daughters. Lorraine came along in 1958 in Hudson, Michigan while Kathy came into the world in 1959 when they lived in Fleetwood. That same year, they returned to Hudson when Don accepted a pastoral position at a congregation and Violet was asked to teach at a rural school, both in nearby Alma, Michigan. While teaching fourth through eighth grades, Violet felt it was God’s plan to return to her own schooling. She began taking classes at Central Michigan University where she studied for her teaching certification.
Three years later, Donald was transferred to a church in South Haven, Michigan. Violet then began attending Hope College and also taught at Glenn School. As a family, many fond memories were made during this time in their lives which Violet held close to her heart.
During their time in South Haven, Don eventually felt called to leave the ministry for other opportunities the Lord had for them. They were so faithful to God’s calling that while on a trip to visit Don's parents, Don and Violet saw a road sign for Marshall, Michigan. So compelled, Violet asked to stop there so she could apply at the Intermediate School office for a job. After two weeks she received an offer to teach at the consolidated school, Mar Lee, without even so much as an interview or even talking with anyone! With no home to move to, no money and no job for Don, Violet and her family packed up and obediently moved to Marshall. Once there, they found a home down the street from Mar Lee School. And when they went to the bank in Marshall and explained their situation, the bank even agreed to loan them the money to get their lives started there. Sadly, their eldest daughter, Lorraine, passed away at the age of fourteen. Although it was a trying and sad time in their lives, Violet and Don held fast to their faith and that very faith was the rock for which they together relied.
Don found a position at Post Cereal and was soon hired to teach at a local school. He eventually began teaching at Mar Lee where Violet worked and where their daughter attended. Mar Lee School and teaching became their family’s way of life for 25 years. During this time, both Violet and Don took classes at Western Michigan University to complete their teaching certificates.
Violet loved teaching and it came naturally for her. Throughout most of her teaching career she served as a fourth grade teacher. All of her students loved her classes as Violet did many interesting units to compliment her teaching style. They studied the country of Japan, read and wrote many books, and participated in Indian Pow Wows. Violet even established a stamp club at the school.
Along with teaching and raising her family, Violet had a love for travel. Through the years she visited destinations such as Hawaii, Florida, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively throughout most of the U.S. Along with spending time with her grandchildren, great- grandchildren, and her dog, Abby, Violet was an avid reader. One of her talents, among many was her love for painting. She was a big Detroit Tigers supporter, and she was quite fond of Christian music and old TV shows. More than anything, Violet loved being active at church and involved in bible studies. Never hesitant to give of her time and talents, Violet was a longtime member of West Eckford Missionary Church and more recently a member of Central Wesleyan Church.
With her outgoing nature, Violet had a way of keeping her end of a conversation all while drawing others in. She always had something funny to say, yet a godly woman in every sense, all Violet ever hoped for was for her family and friends to know His unyielding faith and to live a faith-filled life. A true blessing, Violet was a delightful woman to know and love. Although life will never be the same without her, the legacy she leaves behind leaves much to aspire for.
Violet Eleanor Hills, age 89, of Holland, MI and formerly of Marshall, MI died Monday, May 22, 2017 at her daughter’s home in Holland, MI. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Lee Hills and by her daughter, Lorraine Hills. Violet is survived by her daughter, Kathy (Dave) Stearns of Holland; grandchildren: Joshua (Lani) Stearns, Stephanie (Phil) Stuller, Emily (Cantrell) Green, Elizabeth and Jonathan Stearns; great-grandchildren: Leyton, Jada and Lyvia Stearns, Raya and Phillip Stuller; her brother-in-law, Perry (Janet) Hills of Pine Bluff, AR; nieces, nephews.
A funeral service will be 10:00 am, Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the Chapel of Central Wesleyan Church, 446 West 40th Street in Holland with Reverend Larry Johnson officiating. Burial in Oakridge Cemetery in Marshall, MI. with Rev. Rick Carpenter officiating the graveside service. Visitation with Violet’s family will be from 6-8 pm, Friday, May 26, 2017 at Dykstra Funeral Home–Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue in Holland. Memorial contributions may be given to Central Wesleyan Church–Missions Fund. To share a favorite memory or photo of Violet and to sign her online guest registry, please visit www.dykstrafuneralhome.com.