Norma D. Hill was born, the thirteenth of fifteen children, to Jesse H. Dredge and Nellie Kunz, at their home in Malad City, Idaho on June 24, 1921. She passed away on August 27, 2023 in St. George, Utah surrounded by loved ones. Norma was 102 years old and was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband James B. Hill, and sons Mark Timothy Hill and David James Hill. Norma is survived by three children: Norma Kay (David Pinkston), Jonathan Edward Hill (Vickie Crider), and Nelessa Ann (Keith Sullivan).
She attended Malad City schools where she took piano lessons and played the cello in orchestras. She loved singing in recitals and operettas and was one of the three sisters in the "Mikado". She loved academics and especially geography as she had many older siblings who traveled throughout the world on LDS missions. Norma was the chorister at church and her friend, Olive Davis (Osmond) mother of the famous Osmond family, was the organist. She remembers being the smallest girl in high school until a new family moved to town with two daughters, "...so I wasn't the class peanut anymore." Her senior year Norma was chosen the Queen of the Days of ’47, rode in a float in the parade, then traveled to Salt Air to dance to Glenn Miller's orchestra. She graduated high school in 1939.
Since Norma's older brother, David, attended Utah State in Logan, Utah, she joined him while working part-time at J. C. Penney and Estenson's Variety store. She accepted a mission call to the Southern States in 1941 with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission included Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. She was assigned to serve in the small town of Laurens, S.C. While tracting, her future Mother in law invited the missionary sisters into her home. Although a Southern Baptist, both of her oldest boys in the military, had joined the LDS church and she was curious about the religion. Her second son, Jim, worked at the War Department in Washington D.C. and when he heard about his Mother taking LDS lessons, he wrote a thank you to the Sisters and asked for reports on his Mother's progress. Jim and Norma corresponded and after her mission release, 18 months later, met, became engaged and married in the Salt Lake Temple November 15, 1943.
Jim was stationed in Biloxi, MS as a radio navigator flying amphibious aircraft patrolling the coast and escorting convoys. Their first child was due in September, so Jim sent Norma on a troop train home to Malad City to give birth and care until he got leave, six weeks later, to travel West and meet his daughter Norma Kay, born September 11, 1944. He was honorably discharged the next year and they had a new son, David James, born January 1, 1946.
Norma and Jim decided to go to Provo, UT so that Jim could attend BYU on the G.I. Bill. While living in student housing called Wymount Village, Norma was called as the very first Relief Society President of a student branch in the LDS church. Their third child, Jonathan Edward, was born June 30, 1951. Jim graduated BYU with honors and went on to earn Masters Degrees in Economics and History. Before graduating, he was offered a position as Purchasing Agent for BYU. Norma kept busy canning fruit, tending children and visiting the sick. Nelessa Ann was born October 1O, 1954, bringing the family total to six.
The LDS church was building a new college in Laie, Hawaii, which was still a territory and not yet a state. Norma and Jim accepted a calling from Pres. David O'McKay to relocate where Jim was the Purchasing agent, Vice President and taught Sociology at the Church College of Hawaii (presently known as BYU Hawaii). Living among the Polynesian people was a wonderful and educational experience, but being homesick for the mainland and family, they decided not to renew another contract and returned to the mainland, specifically Southern California.
Settling into Whittier, CA Norma continued church callings and always supported Jim, their children and spouses and grandchildren in sports, activities and college.
Following the stillbirth of Mark Timothy, she decided to return to work in Communications at North American Aviation. A secure location, she also met several of the Apollo Astronauts when they came to tour the facility.
Following retirement, Jim and Norma were fortunate to serve two LDS Missions: Australia and New Mexico. They were also able to serve as ordinance workers in the ST. George temple for 18 years.
Norma's true essence was revealed through her unwavering faith and countless acts of kindness. Her daughters remember her late at night on the sewing machine crafting a prom dress while others slept. All of her children treasure sweet messages written on napkins and lovingly tucked into school lunches. Family vacations, singing in the car, Sunday dinners with the local missionaries, and birthday parties bring fond memories.
Norma was an avid reader of the Bible, Book of Mormon and faithful leaders' biographies. Norma liked watching TV game shows "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" and knew many of the correct answers. She loved strawberries, cherries, apricots, Texas sheet cake, pretty flowers, the color pink and was famous for her delicious homemade bread.
There will never be another Mother so resilient, respected and cherished. Norma lived with Nelessa and Keith who lovingly cared for her the last four years of her life. Her family loved Norma very much and is forever grateful to all of her doctors, nurses and caregivers for their continuous dedication to her comfort and well-being.
She is survived by three of her five children and their spouses, twenty grandchildren, seventy-four great grandchildren and four great, great, grandchildren.
A celebration of Norma's life will be held September 8, 2023 from 7-8pm at a public viewing at the LDS Church located at 2079 E 2450 S in St. George. On September 9, 2023 a graveside service will be held at 12-noon for Norma at the St George Cemetery.