Doris Thomas Hill

Passed 08/02/2019

Obituary for Doris Thomas Hill

Doris Thomas Hill, 67, passed on Friday, August 2, 2019, 5:15 p.m. at Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee with her dear sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Mac McGhee at her bedside. Doris left her earthly tackle of heart disease and dreamwalked into heaven; not before she spent the day personally thanking family and the Baptist Cardio-Pulmonary Transplant Unit, and medical support staff for the lockstep effort they shared with her, since 2013 in her dogged fight with congestive heart failure. A native Memphian and granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers Albert Gales, Sr. and Armenthry Davis Gales, Doris was born September 21, 1951, 10:17 a.m. at John Gaston Hospital in Memphis, TN to the late Willie Thomas and the late Lucille Gales Thomas (Coffee). She was educated in Memphis City Public Schools, attended Lincoln Elementary/Jr. High and graduated from South Side High School in 1969 as a proud Scrapper. She attended the University of Memphis (Memphis State) and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Personnel Management. Doris was the widow of Dr. Alfred DeWayne Hill, former pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and Adjunct Professor of Religion/Philosophy at LeMoyne Owen College. Her only son, Alfred DeWayne Hill, II, was the absolute jewel of his mother’s eyes from the day he entered the world and until the minute she departed. After her marriage to Dr. Hill in 1984, Doris joined Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where she remained a devout member, serving the Lord under the current pastorate of Rev. Ashton Alexander until her death. She received her Christian imprint and upbringing in Morning View Baptist Church, Memphis, TN and was baptized at the age of nine by Rev. J. J. Reynolds. In her early faith walk at MVBC, Doris served in many capacities, including Sunday School teacher, Board of Christian Education, Financial Secretary and Trustee under the leadership of Rev. L. D. Wortham. Doris truly lived life to the fullest through her witness, advocating for the underserved and spending time with family and friends. She zealously loved God and loved family. Express a need and Doris delivered – friend or stranger. She enjoyed journaling, testing new dishes and traveling. Doris retired from her position as Senior Manager of Human Resources with KRAFT FOODS. Prior to joining KRAFT, Doris was employed with WELCOME WAGON INTERNATIONAL, INC., retiring after 26 years as Vice President of Human Resources. Doris’ proudest civic and community passion was ESPN (Education, Scholarship, Preparation, Nurture) Academy where she served as its Founder and President. For over 20 years, the Academy has provided a safe, structured, and nurturing after-school environment for inner-city and at-risk children, offering “Free” tutoring in math and language arts, life-skills coping, coaching initiatives and field trips. She also organized MENtor to pair ESPN Academy boys with men who provided one-on-one guidance in helping to nurture the boys into responsible adulthood. Doris inspired the staff and volunteers to “Change Lives…One Child at a Time.” Up to the very day of her death, her ongoing efforts to raise operating funds for the Academy allows the program to continue to make a positive difference, serving students from elementary, middle and high schools across the city. Doris was the consummate volunteer. Some examples of her service -- she served as Juvenile Court Auxiliary Probation Officer; sponsored ministry teams to Jamaica, Africa, and South America; sponsored teachers and medical missionary teams to Haiti; organized Sister-to-Sister to mentor women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse; delivered meals to homebound seniors through MIFA; organized “Christmas in July” for abused women and children; organized children’s underwear drives for Porter Leath Chilldren’s Center and collected money for disaster relief and homeless shelters. Doris received innumerable professional awards and community recognition for outstanding leadership. She also made history as the first African-American presentee of the Memphis Cotton Carnival’s Crown and Scepter Award and the first African-American to serve in senior management at Welcome Wagon. She was a Board Member for the following organizations: Church Health Center, Girls Club of Memphis, and the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. Doris held Life memberships with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and the NAACP, and was an Honorary Booker T. Washington Warrior (Tribe ’65.) Her philanthropy was selfless. It extended internationally and the well being of children and the underserved were dear to her heart. Doris’ work on earth is done. She received an offer she could not refuse – To be with the Father in Paradise! To cherish her incredible legacy she leaves: Beloved son, Alfred DeWayne Hill II (Ericka); sisters and brothers, Willie Ruth McGhee (Willie), Phyllis Scott-Clark (Alfred), Mililani, HI, Clifton L. Thomas and Rev. Anthony L. Thomas, Nashville; five sisters-in-law, Catherine Page, Mansfield, OH, Edna Green (Herbert), Alma Clay, Margaret Hill, Adrienne Jones all of Chattanooga, and Minister Delories Thomas; three brothers-in-law, James Hill and Carl Hill (Willieta), both of Chattanooga and Edgar Hill (Glenda); two special nieces who also participated in her care: Dr. A. Zshvetta Jones (Demetrius) and Arnetria DaiShana McGhee; two special cousins Linda Gales Evans (Norris) and Oliver Gales, Jr.; “grandchildren” Eden and Brandon, Keishun, Antonio and Iylan; stepmother, Mrs. Fannie M. Thomas; stepsister, Hazel Veal (Lugene); and countless relatives, friends and extended family. The family encourages a gifting tribute to Doris Hill to support the dreams and aspirations of the children of the ESPN ACADEMY, P. O. Box 3324, Memphis, TN 38173. Visitation will be Friday, August 9, 2019, 4-7 p.m., Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 491 E. McLemore Avenue, Memphis, TN 38106. Funeral Services will be Saturday, August 10, 2019, 12 noon with viewing from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., same location. Burial in Elmwood Cemetery. R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home , 2944 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38111, (901) 526-3624 in charge of services.


Guest Book

I had the privilege of meeting and traveling with Miss Doris and friends to Maui Hawaii some years ago. She was vibrant and funny. I enjoyed her company so much. I will miss her. Cinnamon Tinsley

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To the family of Mrs. Doris Thomas Hill. God bless each of you with peace, comfort and love during your time of bereavement. Blessings, Patricia & Henry Love.(Niece/Nephew of Ruth/Mac McGhee)

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To the Family of Mrs. Doris Thomas Hill, God bless you with comfort during this time of bereavement. The life of faith she lived is a testimony. Let "your" faith sustain you through this test. With love and confidence in the power of God to give you peace, Jeffrey & Susan Leath, Bishop and Supervisor, Thirteenth District, AME Church

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To the Family of Mrs. Doris Thomas Hill, God bless you with comfort during this time of bereavement. The life of faith she lived is a testimony. Let "your" faith sustain you through this test. With love and confidence in the power of God to give you peace, Jeffrey & Susan Leath, Bishop and Supervisor, Thirteenth District, AME Church

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To the Family of Mrs. Doris Thomas Hill, God bless you with comfort during this time of bereavement. The life of faith she lived is a testimony. Let "your" faith sustain you through this test. With love and confidence in the power of God to give you peace, Jeffrey & Susan Leath, Bishop and Supervisor, Thirteenth District, AME Church

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To: The Reverend Anthony L. Thomas and the family of Mrs. Doris Thomas Hill; May the God of all comfort sustain you during the days ahead.” Psalms 119:76.” The Clergy Family Information Center of The African Methodist Episcopal Church express profound sympathy to you in the Home Going of your loved one. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at-this-time of sorrow, “Wishing you the peace that comes from knowing God Is there and praying that He will keep you in His promised, gentle care.” In sympathy and in prayer, Mrs. Ora L. Easley, Administrator, The AMEC Clergy Family Information Center, www.amecfic.org Mrs. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director, The Commission on Social Action Bishop Frank M. Reid, III, Chair, The Commission on Social Action African Methodist Episcopal Church

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To: Alfred Dewayne Hill, II, and the family of Doris T. Hill, a woman who exemplified the image of Christ daily. "For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in... I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...The King said "Truly I tell you, (Doris) whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Doris was filled with love and compassion for people over the world, this was shown through her support of mission. These are the sentiments of Doris: "May the work I've Done, May the Life I've Lived, May the service I've Given, Speak for Me....Well Done, Thy Good And Faithful Servant...Doris, You fought a good fight, You finished your course, You kept the faith, YOU HAVE YOUR CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!" Love, Georgia W. Torrance

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Mars Doris Hill, Her smile was contagious and she was as sweet as honey. I will always remember her and how she loved children. God bless her family and friends. Anita Mims

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I had the priviledge of working with Doris at Kraft. Our people were in wonderful hands with Doris at the helm of human resources. To me, Doris is the best example of what a godly woman looks like. Heaven just got brighter. Well done good and faithful servant. Brian Furrow

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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.

- R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home