Dr. Oliver White Hill, Jr

Passed 07/07/2020

Obituary for Dr. Oliver White Hill, Jr

Dr. Oliver White Hill, Jr., PhD, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. He was the son of legendary civil rights lawyer Oliver W. Hill, Sr and Beresenia Hill, a devoted educator. Oliver, nicknamed Duke, was a Professor of Psychology and held several positions at Virginia State University, including Chair of the Psychology Department and Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences. He is survived by his wife Renee and three children, Jananda, Maia and Jamaa as well as three grandchildren, Jelani, Julian and Jaden, and a wealth of loving friends and extended family. Memorial services has been rescheduled for 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Scott's Chapel, 116 E. Brookland Park Blvd. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Feedmore or Nationz Foundation (nationzfoundationrva.org). Live streaming of the service at www.scottsfuneralhome.com.


Guest Book

I will miss Oliver! I knew him through Siddha Yoga, where we worked on courses and retreats together over many years at the ashram in upstate New York. He was such a bright light, so alive, wise, humble, compassionate, loving, always sharing abundantly. I think each person who knew Oliver felt they had a special relationship with him because he was invariably welcoming and so open, accessible, and appreciative. Oliver, you have been an incredible role model. I am fortunate to have known you! Love!!!! Ganga Stater

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I met Dr Oliver Hill Jr. Through the Creative Workshop at 500 Spring St (behind the walls). He was a giant of a man who not only talked the truth but also walked the truth. He came amongst men such as myself and promoted growth and change while inspiring the best in one's self to emerge. He taught me that the only limitations that I have were those that I allowed. Rest easy my friend.. Brother Marvin H2

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To Renee, and family and friends of Oliver, I am saddened by the loss of a dear friend, but heartened to have known one of the best people in this world. A scholar with a gentle, loving spirit, he will be missed, but remembered fondly. -Evans Hopkins

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Dr. Hill, you will be greatly missed by ALL of us. I remember how you patiently helped me create my class schedule in your office when I became a graduate student at VSU in 2005. I was honored to have successfully matriculated through the Masters program and the Ph.D. program at VSU. For several summers, I worked with a wonderful staff including you under the NSF grant. You were an amazing and intelligent researcher and a very patient and pleasant individual. I could always depend on you to assist me with any issue. I was honored to have the opportunity to call you my colleague once I became a professor in the psychology department at VSU. It was a pleasure to have worked with you throughout the years. Your impact and your legacy will live on forever. I would not have been able to become a professor if it had not been for your guidance and assistance. Rest peacefully! - Dr. Patrice Perkins, Department of Psychology, VSU, and the Perkins Family

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We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Oliver Hill, always so kind to everyone. The live stream service today was lovely with so many warm memories expressed. May his memory be forever a blessing. Julie Beck-Berman

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Thoughtful, Dedicated, Humane. Rest in Power dear brother. -Ernest Lake Jones

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Oliver White Hill, (The Duke). I me Oliver and Rene through the Creative Worksop, Richmond VA.He (was is) a giant, genuine compassion for his,fellow man, always going the extra mile. Tuly he enhanced my life. He was, is will be forever remembered (was is) THE DUKE, I say (was, is) because his Spirit is everlasting.MY DEEPEST SYMPTHAY to Rene, family and loved ones! In my Spirit I know all will be well, and the challenges ahead seem, insurmountable, take a moment and look around (THE DUKE WILL BE WITH YOU). Anthony (Cornbread) Price

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Oliver Hill holds a special place in my heart. I got to know Oliver in 2016 after receiving a grant. He and his wife, Renee, would become the project's greatest cheerleaders. No matter the weather, no matter the circumstances, they would travel the 2 hours to be in community. He taught each of us to be more loving, more compassionate, be more. Several years later, he would support a group of students from my college to participate in a contemplative weekend at VSU. His generosity of spirit, his love for students, his joy was what each young student needed that day. I am grateful for all he shared and for his laughter that always soothed. His smile, his commitment to education, to love, to mission, are carved into my heart. Much love and peace to the Hill family. I will miss you, Oliver! Stephanie Briggs, friend

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In deepest respect, admiration, and appreciation from the multitude of mighty men, enhanced, honed, and developed by Brother Oliver, The VSP Creative Workshop, which includes the collective unification of: The Fruit of Islam, The Baptist Community, The Methodist Community, The Pan African Community, The Education Awareness Therapy Group, HomeStretch Drug Program, The Spring Street Theatre, and the many College Graduation Classes, one & all hereby extended our most lofty praises, deep, into the most farthest corners of our Creators heaven, for sharing with us such a Special Soul in Oliver. His effects on the elevation and thus, the transitioning of so many men had far reaching effects on their families, mother's, wives and children. So many has asked that I convey our heartfelt gratitude also, to Rene for her Special Spirit & devoted help and participation, and to the entire family for their sacrifice of sharing him in the many evening hours, after work, that he without faltering, so abundantly shared, traveling across this state, extending encouragement and upliftment. From Evolutionary Change Inc. and the families that were positively effected, to The Stop The Pain Project, ultimately, I cannot adequately summon the words to describe the defusing spirit & commitment which he engendered, so I will just give thanks to Supreme Creator for Duke. One Brother of Many, Charles Satchell

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Oliver Hill was a critical contributor to the contemplative pedagogy movement, anchored by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, of which he was a Contemplative Practice Fellow along with his brilliant, creative, and loving wife Renee. He was a mentor, a strategic Board of Directors member,and the voice of depth and integrity as we developed programs. He never wavered from his commitment to awakening to truth, both for himself and for students. He was kind, caring, wise, always learning, and he had the absolute best sense of humor! We are grieving his absence but confident that his loving life allowed him to make a smooth transition to what comes next. We love you Oliver! --Mirabai Bush, Founder, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

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I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to work with and get to know Oliver and you, Renee, his "amazing wife." His steady calm and gentle smile belied the strength of his passion for the pursuit of justice. He continues to be an inspiration to me and to Ariel, whom he taught at VSU. Much love, Doris

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On behalf of the Oliver White Hill Foundation we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences. Dr. Hill served as a Board member where his contributions were immense. We are deeply saddened by his death but sincerely appreciate the opportunity to have worked with him and share his knowledge and life experiences. Blessings, J. Maurice Hopkins, President OWH FOUNDATION

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I extend my sincerest condolences to the Hill family and friends. May God grant you His grace and mercy. May He give you peace to comfort you. Oliver's legacy will live on. Valerie R. Johnson JM.'69

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To the Hill family, I extend my sincerest condolences. Oliver was a neighborhood friend and classmate in highschool. He was a gentleman and philosopher. He left an amazing legacy and will be truly missed. May God bless his family and friends.

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The family has my deepest sympathy & condolences. Dr. Hill was a brilliant & kind man just like his father. Dr. Hill is now at rest & peace with the Lord. RIP Viesta Washington

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Renee, Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your husband. I met him more than 55 years ago when I participated in the Junior. Bowling program at Cool Lanes. We crossed paths years later when you, Oliver and your parents starting coming to VMFA for the Dominion Jazz Cafe. We would always exchange greetings and he still remembered from our bowling days. I always appreciated him for his years of service to the students at VSU, my alma mater. Please know that he will be missed by many lives he touched. Thomas "TC" Cannon Treasurer of The Richmond Jazz Society

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I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Hill at Virginia State for many years. He was a valued colleague, a true scholar, and a delightful person. My sincere condolences. Jim Beck

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Dr. Hill planted many seeds in us as psychology students trying to figure out what we will do when we graduate. Thanks for the work we did in your lab during the summer that continues to maintain the spark that I have for science, education , advocacy and empowering my community, Peace love and blessings. Thank you Dr [Renee'] Hill for sharing him with us for all these years. May the Lord strengthen you in this time. Kelsie D. Kelly c/o 2010

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Renee, my prayers and condolences go out to you and your family. May Dr. Hill's memory of love and happiness bring you peace and comfort today and always. May the God of all comfort garrison around your heart and mind and may you feel the deep love of God forever and ever. Reflecting on the wonderful legacy that Dr. Hill has left behind. May his great work forever speak for him. Sincerely Lewis LDM Assiciates

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Met Oliver almost 60 years ago when we were members of the Junior League Bowling program at Cool Lanes Bowling Center. He was a nice, friendly,personable young man, and everyone wanted to be on his team. I am thoroughly impressed with his academic and professional achievements, and regret that I did not have the opportunity to commend him on his accomplishments. Cathy Smith, Fellow Junior League bowler.

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Dr. Hill possessed a calm and wisdom that words cannot describe. I am grateful to have met such a wonderful human being. Thank you Dr. Hill for your service and guidance.

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Dr. Hill was that type of professor that made everyone excited to learn statistics! Anytime I came to him with a question regarding stats, he made sure to check on my well being before even addressing the question. Even through his transition from VSU, he offered his full support with enthusiasm, energy, kindness. His encouragement and constant reminder of peace will always be with me! Thank you for teaching me what learning truly is! Rest in Power Dr. Hill -Victoria Davis

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No words can describe how sorry we are for your loss. Please Accept our Deepest Sympathy! The Cameron Family, James(Butch), Keith(Deceased), Zenda, Macio and Daria. Take Care and God Bless.

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May you be encouraged knowing Dr. Hill lives on within our minds, hearts, & spirits. Tiffany (King) Anderson & Family

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Dr. Hill, it was such a privilege to have been taught by you! Although I respected all my professors, there were only two that were true super heroes in my experience. Dr. Hill was one of those professors. He had a rare gift for transforming student weaknesses into strengths--as he did with me and research methodology! He was always so kind and reassuring, and humble despite being looked up to by so many! He offered so many opportunities to me and I will be forever grateful. To Dr. Renee Hill and family, please take comfort in knowing a little bit of Dr. Hill lives on in the hearts of the so many people who he inspired. He was one of a kind. Brenda J. Beagle, VSU '94 and '99.

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Dear Renee, I am among the thousands who share your grief over the passing of Oliver last week. I know that you and the children will miss him, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that he loved each of you with all of his heart. During the past few days, I received telephone calls from people all over the United States who for many reasons cannot attend the funeral, but also requested me to convey to you and the children their condolences, their heartfelt sorrow and kindest regards. My family and I wish you and the children every happiness and best wishes in the years ahead. Sincerely, Henry L. Marsh III

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To the family of Dr. Oliver W. Hill, Jr.: I feel so blessed to have known Oliver W. Hill, Jr., an impressive man with a gentle demeanor, and his father, Oliver W. Hill Sr., whose actions impacted the lives of the students at Robert Russa Moton High School in 1951 in Farmville, Virginia. I will never forget him - nor his father. May God give you the strength to cope with your loss. Blessings, Joan Johns Cobbs

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I remember Saturday class at Zacharias Ghaney and the Step classes with Diane,we left the class confused and dizzy. I looked forward to seeing you both because we had so much fun. God bless you Renee, I pray you still remember me. Debrah Bailey

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Renee and family, Just want to express my sincere sympathy for the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. He was a giant in his profession yet seemed like such a gentle spirit within. I was honored to do the portrait of his father Oliver W Hill, Sr. which hangs in 2 Courthouses and the Governor's Mansion. That is how we first met many years ago and then again just last year in May at the New Roanoke Justice Center. He was always so helpful and encourgaing. Elaine Bankston

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My deepest sympathy and prayers are extended to the family. Connie (Hill) Galloway

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Dr. Renee Hill and Family, I'm praying for you all during this season of grief and if their anything we can do for you during this time please let me & my family know. KJ Granderson

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Renee my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. Duke was a awesome guy we really enjoyed getting to know you guys over the past few years. Very blessed that our paths crossed. May the Lord god continue to strengthen you. Lewis Green and family

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Although my family lived in Richmond for several years and where I attended college,I did not meet Dr.Hill until I began to participate in Siddha Yoga programs during the late 80's and 90's. He was a regular host at many of the large gatherings held often with the renown meditation master. Gurumayi. I so admired Dr.Hill's poise and articulation abilities before such massive audiences. My sinsere condolences to his wife and family.

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My sincere condolences to the Hill family. Duke was my niece, Jananda, father. He was a kind person and a loving gentleman. Your spirit will truly be missed.

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No words are too good for Dukie. He was just the best of people. Renee (and children), you have my deepest sympathy. Tonnie Villines

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To the family of Dr. Oliver Hill, Jr. It was such a profound sadness felt in my heart when I heard of (Duke's) passing. He had such a gentle soul and heart warming smile. He's with the Lord and his parents. May you forever cherish all of your memories of him. With deepest sympathy, Thelma Gilpin O'Neal

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Mr Hill was a extraordinary person and a great friend who along with his father open their doors to me and I was able to turn my life around and able to read about history to his father on a weekly basis.I truly enjoyed the friendship that they gave me with meals and a historic lesson in civil rights which I forever grateful.I will continue to use thier teaching to change the world Thomas Winston formally Thomas Shelton the name they knew me by.A chance meeting through my mother whose 98 work in the same building southern aide life insurance with naacp.My life is forever changed because of both great men.My condolences to the family.Rip Legend

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Though I never met Dr. Hill, I feel as as if I knew him by all the wonderful stories told to me by his daughter, Maia. I pray peace and continued comfort during this tough time of bereavement! Maia, I know this is a tough one; and, you're so blessed to have had wonderful parents to love and support. Andrea Trent (your former work mom). Love and miss you.

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Our sincere condolences to Mrs. Hill and the family. Dr. Hill was an outstanding academician and a wonderful individual. Dr. & Mrs. Earl Yarbrough, Sr.

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Twenty some years ago, Carlos Smith and I were extremely fortunate to be invited into Oliver and Renee's home for Siddha Yoga. As a newcomer, I was introduced to many fascinating people from all walks of life. I savor those memories, and feel deep sympathy for Renee and the family. Sincerely, Pat Hill

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Dr. Oliver Hill was and is a beacon, a brilliant presence who mentored generations of undergraduates, graduate students, and younger faculty like me. I learned so much from watching him move. He modeled tireless dedication to students from preschool through post-doctoral education, in and outside of the classroom, where he and Dr. Rene Afanana Hill also served the central role in establishing the math literacy program, the Algebra Project, in the Petersburg Public Schools over the last two decades. His calm and welcoming presence in every room he entered, where he never passed judgement on others, taught me how to stay centered regardless of what else was happening. He stayed the course, always sharing an unfailing strength through kindness, persistence, and absolute pursuit of justice and love. Dirk, Nik, Shamus, Sven, Clo, and I send Rene, Maia, Jamaa and the family our love and deepest sympathy. Wesley Hogan

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Oliver was a beautiful soul who has left a legacy of love and devotion and service. We send many blessings and radiant wishes to the Hill family. Sujata and Marcel Ringawa

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Dr.Hill legendary brilliance as a leader, educator and research scientist was only was only surpassed by his extraordinary kindness. He will be missed. With Sympathy, Leslie Whiteman

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Renee, I am thinking of you and your family at this time. I adored Oliver - he was the ideal colleague. He had such a gentle way about him and was so supportive of others. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and your family. Sincerely, Colleen Taylor

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Renee, I wish the best for you and family, and know you are aware of my sincere feelings about the loss of Dukey. Yours was a closely knit family and I'm privileged to have been closely associated. Sincerely, Doug Wilder

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I admired Dr. Hill b/c he was always so phlegmatic and competent in the midst of so many personalities, responsibilities, and just...work in the Department of Psychology at VSU. I was a grad student at VSU in the Ph.D. program he helped establish, and I recall him sitting on his ball (with no chair backing) in his office being willing to help whoever needed it. He played critical roles in my statistical analyses for my master's thesis as well as my Ph.D. One summer during my grad career I convinced him to let me take him out to lunch in downtown Petersburg with intentions to treat him) and once we got to the corner diner, we chatted a bit about college basketball, ate, and he told me to keep my money and thanked me for bringing him out. We then drove back to campus and he helped me with my dataset and subsequent analysis. He watched me grow in confidence and encouraged me along in each of my defenses. When I applied for my first academic position, he gave me guidance on how to interview. A chief reason why I am a doctor is b/c he helped me along. Peace and love to the Hill family and transcendental meditation is on my bucket list to study at some point.

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Your journey with us was well lived and reached far before the limitations of what is possible. You changed the world with your presence and planted seeds for further light to radiant in this world. Thank you for your service, thank you for you dedication, thank you for for legacy, thank you God for your life.Ase! As always, we love you! Giovaunni Gee-Miles

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My heart and sincere condolences go to Dr. Renee Hill and the family of Dr. Oliver Hill. He was a wonderful colleague; I got to know him as his program director at the National Science Foundation over the years. Never have I met a person as smart, gentle, wise, and compassionate as Oliver. I will miss him. May he rest in peace and power. With sympathy, Claudia Rankins

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I only got to meet Dr. Hill once but instantly liked him and loved his passion for his work. Sending love and light to his family as we all mourn a profound loss.

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Renee, our hearts go out to you for the loss of your dear Oliver. What a difference he made in the lives of so many. May you find comfort and peace. Our love to you, Sharon and John Moeser

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He was my TEACHER. He taught Psychology with the flair of neighborhood OG and a righteous scholarly big brother. He believed in me. He was the smoothest professor I've EVER met... and then, I met the Yin to his Yang, Dr. Renee Hill. Dr. Renee, thank you the many, many times you showed me what love looks like by loving/loving on your MAN as many times the hours of the day would allow I recall your love for each other made both of you blush and smile as wide as the sunrise. The love and affection reflected in the eyes of Oliver and Renee (respectively) made me believe in Divine Pure Love where I had once doubted its existence. Dr. Renee, I pray for peace and comfort for you and your loved ones. REST in POWER Dr. Oliver Hill Jr.

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In this difficult time, may God hold you close to His heart, where He can feel your deepest loss, and fill you with His deepest love. May your memories bring you comfort. Respectfully, Fenton L. Bland, Jr.543GEQ6

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Rest In Peace. Sharamaine

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Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Our family of course was shocked. We have so many fond memories from our youth. We spoke about two weeks ago and promised to get together soon. Sending love, peace and comfort your way.

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Dr. Hill, Thank you for believing in me. You were such an AMAZING person. Sending my heartfelt condolences to your wife and family. Warm Regards, Felicia Morgan

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Dr.Hill I will miss you with all my heart You were such a great man. My prayers go out to your wife and family. Fran & Shawn Thomas

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The gentle spirit of Dr. Oliver Hill will be missed by those he encountered each day. My deepest condolences to Renee and his family. May the warm memories of your days spent with him bring comfort and sustain you through this difficult time. With Sympathy, Maxine Sample

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Dr. Hill you will be missed. You hired me at VSU and gave me a chance. I want to say thank you. God Bless your family.

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You are a shining light to all who had the privilege of knowing you. You were a hero to me - someone I looked up to and truly admired. Rest In Peace my, brother, as you now rest in the palm of God's hand. Jesse Vaughan

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Prayers and blessings to Renee and family from Paula H. McCapes and family. God bless

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From San Jose California, I send my deepest condolences to "Dukie's" family and friends. I lived on North and played in the neighborhood. I last saw him with his father at the Grand Boule in Detroit. He will be missed but fond memories will continue. Sincerely, Wilbur Jackson

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Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.

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