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Jane Gretchen Hill (nee Reid), born January 29, 1936 in London Ontario to Robert H Reid and Jannaca Van Nostrand Reid, sister of Sue Chick and Terry Reid (all deceased), died quietly and peacefully with her children at her side on Monday, May 2, 2022 in Waterloo Ontario.
As a child, Jane was spirited, questioning, and determined. We loved to tease her about having been kicked out of Havergal College when the headmistress read a copy of Jane’s friend’s Ludemus: in its pages Jane had chronicled all the mischief they had been getting into. Unashamed, Mom always countered with, “I wasn’t going back anyway.” At Western University Jane played plenty of bridge and poker, loved going to football games and studied English literature. After graduating, Jane worked at Canada Life, and during this time was set up on a blind date with JT(Sam) Hill. They married and in short order produced 3 children: Jeffery (Penny Garaganis) Christopher (Cindy Seegmiller) and Andrea (Ted Witzel), all of whom loved and admired her beyond measure.
In 1963, Jane and Sam settled in Waterloo, Ontario, where Jane volunteered at the hospital and Little Theatre, and raised her family with gracious devotion. Jane’s home was always perfectly tidy and organized, but in a welcoming, come-and-sit-down way. Although she didn’t particularly care for cooking, she set the dining table every night with silver entrée dishes, her fine china and served delicious gourmet meals. It was a great relief to her when she could set that duty aside.
Life threw Jane a few curveballs, especially the long illnesses of her mother-in-law, and her husband, Sam. She spent more than a decade dutifully immersed in their tender care. When they had both died, Jane began travelling with her dear friend Brenda Charters, with her family, and even on her own through Europe, Africa, China, Japan, New Zealand, Cambodia and South America. Shortly before the pandemic she capped it off with a trip to Fogo Island, Newfoundland then declared she was finished.
Authentic and beautiful in every sense, she was always immaculately turned out and set the standard for aging gracefully. She was quick to laugh and long to listen. Indeed, it was her capacity to listen and appreciate everyone she met that was one of her greatest gifts to friends of all ages and family alike. In particular, she connected deeply with each of her eleven grandchildren: Rob (Mariana Gomez-Diaz), Kevin, Jason, Rachel, Nadia, Harry and Christie Hill; and Ted, Charlie, Samantha (Eric Earl) and Reid (Jannell Lo) Witzel. She was tickled pink with her great-grandchildren Eric and Andrea Jane Earl, and Lincoln Hill.
For Jane, the lake was heaven on earth. As a 6-month-old baby she spent her first summer at the family compound, Killiecrankie, on Lake Joe. During the last 40 years she enjoyed every summer on Oak Island, Lake Rosseau. There she adored time among the gardens with her family, dogs, and hummingbirds. Red squirrels were another matter.
Relatives and friends are invited to share their memories of Jane Gretchen at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Thursday, May 5, 2022 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The funeral service will be held in the chapel of the funeral home on Friday, May 6, 2022 at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at the Westmount Golf & Country Club, 50 Inverness Dr, Kitchener. A private family graveside service will be held at a later day. The funeral service will be live streamed at www.erbgood.com on Jane Gretchen’s tribute page.
Jane was a passionate and quietly generous supporter of a host of local institutions. The KW Symphony, the Stratford Festival, the KW hospitals, WLU, KidsAbility, and Hospice Waterloo benefitted from her lifelong support. For those wishing to donate as an expression of sympathy, you may wish to consider joining Jane in the support of those organizations. Condolences for the family and donations may be arranged by contacting the funeral home at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.