Nedradine (Dena) Hill made her transition on March 28, 2021, to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was born on a warm summer day on August 21, 1933, in Akron, Ohio, to the late Winifred (Robert) Smith and Percy (Loretta) Dawson. Nedradine, better known to all who loved her as “Dena,” came to this world with an exuberant personality, vigor, and excitement that propelled her through life.
Mrs. Dena was a long-time resident of Akron, graduating from Central High School in 1951, she married the late Freddie Lee Hill 1954, together they raised three sons David, Kenneth, and Neil.
Mrs. Dena lived her life on the principle of Faith, Family, and Love. As a faithful servant of God, Dena had a constant word and song of praise on her heart and lips, even if it was off-key. She was a devoted wife to her beloved husband, the late Freddie Lee Hill, whom she spent sixty glorious years together before the Lord called Freddie home. Dena and Freddie spent their life together living the dream of traveling the world together; with her social club, the Cidels. With the Cidels, Dena and her friends were responsible for bringing entertainers like Jackie Wilson, Etta James and James Brown to Akron. They expanded into a travel club sending them to Africa, Europe, exotic islands, and more. Whatever Dena wanted to see or accomplish, she did it with determination and zest.
Mrs. Dena loved her pastor and her church family at the People’s Baptist Church. As a charter member of the People’s Baptist Church, she served as a Sunday School President and teacher, Usher Board, and choir member. As a believer of Christ, Dena let everyone know that she was “not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:6 NLT); that is, her spirit-filled praises were heard and felt from the floor to the rafters. Her boisterous voice of excitement and praise could be heard from miles away. She loved the Lo rd and wanted those around her to know and experience God’s grace and mercy. As a powerful praying woman, who knew the Word of God, she did not word hesitate to offer prayer and words of encouragement to those who were in need.
Mrs. Dena was a former employee of Model Cities, Ohio Bell, and the Akron Board of Education where she spent many years as the “golden voiced” switch board operator. She was known as the friendly voice that greeting her caller with a cheerful “Good Morning Akron Public Schools,” she retired after 22 years of service making local headline news. She was considered “the first line of defense, the soldier who tried to calm the situation before an angry caller exploded. She was the counselor who determined the needs of the faceless person on the other end of the phone, then located someone who could help.” Although she may not remember your name, she greeted everyone with a sincere “honey, sweetie or darling.” Recently, in true Nedradine fashion she made the news when she met the current Governor Mike Dewine, as one of the first recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine in Ohio.
Mrs. Dena was the epitome of love and a precious gift that was given to the world; her presence and love were felt by all that knew her. To know Nedradine was to love her, she never met a stranger that she did not share a smile or a kind word. Dena was a mother to the neighborhood children who lived on Rhodes Avenue and surrounding streets. Dena lived her life to the fullest, and her memory and legacy will live on in all the lives she touched.
The life of Nedradine Hill will be forever cherished and loved by her three devoted sons, whom she raised with affection and a firm hand. Teaching her sons, faith in God, love of family, and a sense of community, she ensured that her sons would experience things that would shape them into the men of God that they are today.
Nedradine Hill was preceded in death by her husband Freddie Lee Hill, her parents Winifred (Robert) Smith and Percy (Loretta) Dawson, brother Leonard Dawson, sisters Carol Dawson, Marcella (Buford) Scruggs, Gwendolyn Dawson, and grandmother Freddie Prymus. She leaves to mourn her passing three devoted sons, David (Diane) Hill, Kenneth A. Hill, and Neil (Vivian) Hill; grandchildren Branden Hill, Siobhan Hill, Ilea Hill, Danielle Hill, and Tiesean Brown-Hill; six great-grandchildren Armonti Hill, Da’vione Wood, Aiden Hill, Brycen Hill, Tiesean Hill Jr., and Aaliyah Gonzales. Along with many beloved family and friends.