Eva Hill (Gilbert)
Eva Gilbert Hill 5/24/1929-4/15/2018
Eva Gilbert was born in Sunderland, England, United Kingdom, on May 24, 1929, to Thomas and Sarah Jane (Potts) Gilbert. She lived in England through World War II, moving to Woodthorpe, Nottingham during the war years avoiding her parents urge to send her to United States along with a number of her grade school classmates. She was a graduate of primary and secondary schooling in Nottingham where she excelled as an All-England class athlete in field hockey. Following her schooling, nineteen-year-old Eva followed her early life adventure emigrating from Liverpool on the SS Britannic to the New York City on May 31st, of 1948.
Eva settled in Philadelphia living with her American sponsor and Auntie Eddy, Eva's Mom's sister, on East Slocum Street in Mt. Airy and worked as a secretary and shorthand typist at WCAU-4 on City Line Avenue. Those days were spent taking the train to and from work with her working friends, included in this group was Grace Kelly, as she began her adventure enjoying her American dream. Her early bosses at WCAU included the most famous of actors and media people of her time, to include Gene Autry, Ed McMann, and her favorite John Facenda, a famous American Broadcaster and sports announcer and fixture on Philadelphia radio and television for decades.
In early 1953 Eva met her husband to-be Eugene Francis, also from Philadelphia, a veteran of World War II, and they were married in early 1954. After living in the city for their early married years, Eva and Gene moved to Flourtown Gardens in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia where they began a family. Enjoying a soccer Mom life with age group swimming children, summers were spent at local swim clubs and vacationing on the Jersey Shore and on Highland Lake, in Bridgeton, ME. While residing in Flourtown during this period as her children grew up, she took on the challenging task of returning to University as a pre-Med major at Temple University, eventually transitioning to a working Mother as the Head of Finance, at All Saints Hospital in Chestnut Hill, PA. As her family expanded through Elementary and High School years, Gene and Eva continued to live in Flourtown until 1978, when Gene and she took a gamble and moved to the Sebago Lake region, in Raymond, ME. Following divorce from Gene in 1980, Eva remained a resident of first Portland, ME, and then Steep Falls, ME, working as the Administrator of the Maine Eye Center before retirement and moving to Eva Beach, Oahu, in Hawaii, to live with her daughter's family. After returning to the Mainland and the Boston-area in early 1990s where she lived and worked until 2011, Eva enjoyed numerous trips back to United Kingdom to reconnect and visit with family and friends. Eva lived out her life as a resident in Wentworth, New Hampshire with her daughter, Pam, her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren until her passing.
Eva remained a proud American and ex-British citizen to her family and friends throughout her joyful, well-lived life. She enjoyed being the Hill Matriarch, ultimately concluding with the first ever family reunion in May of 2013 when her family congregated at her daughter's house in Wentworth, NH, to celebrate Eva's 83rd birthday. She is survived by her four children, Thomas Scott from Frederick, MD, Wendy Claire from Portland, ME, Stuart Eugene from Portland, ME, Pamela Ann from Wentworth, NH, eight grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
There will be no calling hours.
A private funeral service and burial will be observed at Eva's request with family in the United Kingdom at the site of her family's grave in Sunderland, and in the United States in and around family.