Lawrence Curtis Hill was born in Washington, DC on June 15, 1926. He was one of eight children born to the late Lewis M. Hill, Sr. and Mary Cole Hill. He passed away at the Washington Hospital Center on Thursday, September 24, 2020 from COVID-19 after a brief illness.
Lawrence was a lifelong resident of Washington, DC. He attended St. Augustine Catholic School and St. Augustine Catholic Church, where he was baptized and served as an altar boy. As an adult he served as a lector, president of the Holy Name Society, Chairman of the Education Committee of the Parish Council, president of the St. Augustine Federal Credit Union, member of the Inter-Religious Council on Race Relations, and member of the Board of Directors of the V Street Ecumenical Center. In his 70s and 80s, Lawrence volunteered as a lector and transported wheelchair-bound nursing home residents to Sunday mass at Carroll Manor, until his own advanced age and health prevented him from doing so.
He graduated from Dunbar High School in 1944 and served in the Army from 1944 – 1946, in the Pacific Theater of World War II. As one of a few literate “colored” troops in his company, he was a radio operator, proficient in communications and Morse Code. He returned to DC to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1951 and taught in the DC Public Schools while working towards a Master of Arts Degree, which he earned from New York University in 1962. He continued his career as an educator, advancing to become principal of Maury Elementary School. He retired from the then combined Maury-Lovejoy Schools in 1982. Lawrence held lifetime memberships in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the DC Congress of Parents and Teachers Association.
Lawrence was cherished in his school community, by colleagues, teachers and students alike. He served as a mentor, friend and role-model to many. He had an equally positive and lasting impact on neighbors and friends. As a younger man, he was active in many social organizations including the M Club of DC and the Suaves Social Club, Inc. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed bowling. He was likable, warm and social – quick with a smile and an occasional quip. He grew from a devoted and dependable son and brother into a favorite uncle and father figure to relatives as well as other young people. He absolutely adored his family, and proudly shared the latest activities or accomplishments of his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren with others. He had a quiet way of commanding respect, while at the same time making those around him feel welcome and at ease. He encouraged those with whom he interacted to be their very best – through his words and his example. Radiating his own kindheartedness, Lawrence often ended presentations to students and phone-calls to his daughter or son-in law with these words, “Be kind to each other.” He was also strong – a survivor and a witness to history – exemplified by his participation in the 1963 March on Washington. An independent thinker and a bit of a rebel – Lawrence selected “My Way” as the theme song for his retirement celebration. Through to the end, he was blessed to be able to live his life in his own way.
Lawrence was predeceased by his wife, the late Thomasine Bradford Hill, and is survived by his daughter Lauren Hill, son-in-law, David Merlin-Jones, grandson, Julian and granddaughter, Jordan, brother-in-law, John B. Adams, Sr. and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Memorial donations may be made in Lawrence’s name to The United Negro College Fund.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lawrence Curtis Hill, please visit our floral store.