On Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, with 98 years of living completed, Mary Hill passed peacefully and naturally from this life and into the next. Mary was a woman with a strong Catholic faith, so undoubtably she was met at Heaven's gate by The Lord; her mom Veronica; her dad Joseph; eight of her brothers; her sister Sandy; her husband Bill, her son, Mike, whom she has missed dearly and daily for the last 32 years, and far too many nieces, nephews and friends to list.
With her passing, the world lost an amazing woman, the Bommersbach clan lost their matriarch, Pat (Karla), Jakki, and Ronnie lost the best mom ever. Her grandkids Paul (Jamie), Tessa (Joe), Amanda (Andrew), Ross (Jackie) and great-grandkids, Owen, Zoey, Ada, Indi, and Hugo lost ”The Phenomenal Non!”
The Hill family would like to give a sincere thanks to the nurses and aides from Bristol Hospice. Their kind, compassionate care allowed Mary to pass from this life to the next very comfortably. At Mary's request there will be no services. If you would like to donate something on her behalf, please give to your local food bank.
Mary Hill became a proud resident of Green Valley 33 years ago. In an effort to keep her “ﬁnger on the pulse" of her new community, she initiated her subscription to the Green Valley News the day she moved to town. Over those 33 years, and much to her delight, she was featured in the Green Valley News many different times. Mary was of great interest to readers due to her service as a WWII U.S. Army Veteran. She was very proud of her Veteran
status, and that of her eight brothers, husband and son. She was hard to miss at the various Veterans Day Services she attended in her ﬁnest red, white, and blue attire. As a result, she managed to catch the eye of many photojournalists. It was Mary’s wish to be featured one last time in the Green Valley News, therefore, this writeup is the final chapter in the story of
her well-lived life.
Mary Jane Bommersbach Hill was born at home in Oakes, North Dakota on March 24, 1923. By the time she was 17 in 1932, she had graduated from high school and couldn’t wait to leave Oakes. So with sandwiches packed by her mom, and with her best friend Lois Pfeiffer by her side, she hopped on board the Chicago Northwestern and headed west. They stayed in Seattle for awhile near her brother Lenny, as well as some of Lois’s family, then eventually they ended up Portland, Oregon.
In 1944, at the age of 21 and no longer needing her parent’s permission, she
enthusiastically enlisted in the Army. The world was in the throws of a war and she wanted to do her part, and besides, that’s where all the boys were. She was inducted and trained as a surgical technician in the hospital at Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. She chose to tend to the soldiers that would be on the blind and plastic surgery wards. Her first assignment was at Dibble General Hospital in Palo Alto, California. She was then on to Beaumont General
Hospital in El Paso, Texas.
In 1946 and during her assignment in El Paso, she met Henry (Bill) B. Hill. Bill was stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, and had just returned from Europe where, as a 1st Sergeant, had been given the assignment of supervising the U.S. Army guards during the Nuremberg Trials. Bill was calling Bingo at “the club,” and his handsome looks, cocky attitude and sexy voice was captivating. After Bingo, the band began to play and the dancing started. She turned down several soldiers that had asked her to dance, and instead waited for the request from Bill. He asked her to dance, and their dancing chemistry blended perfectly. They cleared the dance ﬂoor that night, and were married three months later.
Bill and Mary Hill traveled the world while Bill faithfully fullﬁled his 30-year stint in the United States Air Force. Along the way, they made 28 moves, in 3 countries and raised 4 kids. In 1948, their oldest son, Michael Edward, was born in Nagoya, Japan. In 1950, it was Henry Booth (Pat), at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. In 1952, Veronica Jo (Ronnie) was born in Tucson, Arizona. Last, but certainly not least, and the apple of their eye, Jacqueline Susan (Jakki) was born in 1964 at the United States Air Force Academy. Bill and Mary continued their dance until Bill passed in 1998. Their dance lasted 53 years.
For those of us who were raised by Mary or were lucky enough to become friends with her, knew of her huge, giving heart. I’m not sure if it was the result of being raised with 11 other siblings, and by a mother that was an unbelievable, yet unknowingly, outstanding role model, there wasn’t a stingy bone in her body. She would give the last dime she had, and the shirt off her back, to a complete stranger, if it would lessen their struggle in life. Ask any family member or mere acquaintance, her door was “always open” and she was ready to share her food, drink, clothes, conversation and smokes, with anyone who entered. She was the quintessential representation of the Greatest Generation!
She loved everything about Green Valley. It was the perfect, warm environment that contributed greatly to the quality of her life. Most mornings she would start her day by attending Mass at Our Lady of the Valley, then check out things at the White Elephant, stop at every garage sale she drove by, then put her 20 laps in at the East Center pool. She also found time to serve and was a dedicated volunteer for Southern Arizona Veteran’s
Hospital, Mobile Meals, and the Santa Rita Nursing Home. It would be remiss if the Desert Diamond Casino wasn’t mentioned, which is where she gave the most, but had the most fun.
We’ll miss her terribly, but are so thankful to have had her in our lives. For a job well done, may she Rest in Peace eternally.