Betty Hill, 103 years in OOE – We Mourn The Passing of Our Most Senior Citizen

Mainstreeter Staff

Betty Hill loved to share the community’s history with friends and family. A veritable “force of nature”, Mrs. Hill lived her entire life in Old Ottawa East and witnessed it change from a small village “out of town” to a vibrant urban community. Photo by Mainstreeter Staff

Betty Hill loved to share the community’s history with friends and family. A veritable “force of nature”, Mrs. Hill lived her entire life in Old OttawaEast and witnessed it change from a small village “out of town” to a vibrant urban community. Photo by Mainstreeter Staff

Elizabeth “Betty” Jean Hill (nee Brown), Old Ottawa East’s most senior citizen, passed away peacefully on January 30th at the age of 103. Revered by her family, friends and neighbours in Old Ottawa East and often described by family members as a “Force of Nature”, Betty Hill was born in Ottawa during World War I on December 9, 1916.

Betty Hill holds a special place in the history of Old Ottawa East, having resided her entire life in this community, living most of her 103 years in the Brown family home at 388 Main Street, and then on Brown Street, named after her family. The Browns were one of the founding families of Old Ottawa East and were close relations of the Lees family, members of which resided further north off Main Street on the Lees family homestead.

The incredible life of Betty Hill was chronicled in a comprehensive Sharing Lunch With an interview published by The Mainstreeter in April 2018, which is available in its entirety on our website at www.mainstreeter.ca/index.php/2018/04/05/sharing-lunch-with-betty-hill-at-the-green-door/ .

In the interview, she spoke fondly of her working career which included her efforts to support Canadian troops during World War II, but also of her childhood growing up in the Brown family house, which is now the site of the Cuban Embassy:

”Yes, my whole life has been spent here in Old Ottawa East. I guess I never had the gumption to go anywhere else! My grandmother had this house and she wanted us to share it with her, and we did. This neighbourhood has changed a whole lot since back when I was growing up. It was real quiet back then. We used to have a bus stop right around the corner from us on Riverdale and Main. The streetcar turned around at Clegg but the City bus had a route along Riverdale back then. If the bus ever stopped at our stop, we knew it was a visitor for our house, because there was no one else around.”

Mrs. Hill’s obituary described her as “a font of historical and social information on the area, which she was always keen to share, and she was surprised at the interest of others in her stories. She engendered love, respect and admiration in everyone with whom she came in contact, right up to her final days. She was brought up and remained a person of faith and considered her commitment to church and community second only to her family.” Betty Hill, 103 years in OOE We mourn the passing of our most senior citizen.

Donations in memory and in honour of Betty Hill can be directed to Hospice Care Ottawa (May Court), 114 Cameron Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1S 0X1, or to Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5G4.

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